Learn how Plane Support’s capabilities were able to provide a one stop shop solution for Alliance Airlines for a small, but time consuming maintenance activity.
Alliance Airlines is Australia’s major fly in, fly out (FIFO) air charter operator. Founded in 2002, with just three aircraft, today Alliance boasts a fleet of 30 Fokker aircraft, employs over 400 staff and provides regular and ad-hoc charter services in Australia and New Zealand.
Alliance aircraft are carefully maneuvered using aircraft tugs and tow bars. However, the tow bar occasionally made contact with the forward face of the nose landing gear causing minor cosmetic damage to the surface. This damage required constant repairing to ensure that unprotected surfaces are not subject to corrosion and further damage in the future.
The minor damage added to the maintenance of the aircraft with the provisioning of expensive paint repair kits and working hours to dress and apply the paint. Alliance required a solution that prevented the tow bar from damaging the landing gear.
Plane Support worked closely with the Alliance engineers to develop a solution that would protect the nose landing gear from constant damage while saving time and money.
As a result, a profiled plastic sleeve was designed to protect the nose landing gear. Plane Support achieved this by:
• Using in-house CAD modelling, 3D printed rapid prototyping and trial fitting. Plane Support handled all design aspects and liaised with key staff to ensure the right solution was developed.
• The engineering was finalised to approve the manufacture under Plane Support’s one-off production certificate.
• Approved engineering and approved data were supplied to Alliance personnel for installation onto each aircraft.
• Production parts were fabricated in-house using CNC machines from the engineered CAD Models and 3D printed prototypes.
• Parts were released on a Form 1 to allow receiving of the components into the airline stores with minimal effort.
• A full production part was manufactured using the CASA part 21G Manufacturing Approval and fitted to an aircraft for trial. The trial was considered successful.
• The protector was supplied as a kit to Alliance, and was easily fitted.
The nose landing gear protectors are now utilised in Alliance Aircraft fleet and protect from damage by tow bars and ground support equipment. The protector has removed a problematic maintenance task that required expensive paints and working hours to repair.
Plane Support was able to provide a one-stop shop solution to a small but time-consuming maintenance activity by using capabilities of Plane Support from concept design, prototyping, engineering and manufacture.
“The finished product was perfect, meeting our brief precisely. Throughout the process Alliance Airlines found Plane Support to be extremely efficient and professional delivering exactly what we requested in a very short space of time. Alliance Airlines will certainly be placing further work with Plane Support in the future.”
Technical Support Manager
Alliance Airlines Pty Ltd