Textron Aviation is expanding its service offerings to provide customers with a new standard repair process for Cessna Citation CJ series aircraft main landing gear. This solution, which is in the final stages of certification, will allow engineers to repair the gear without having to replace it, improving the cost-effectiveness of operation for customers.
Textron is leading this project with Able Aerospace Services, which the company acquired in 2016.
“The desire to have the option to repair instead of replace CJ landing gear is something we've been hearing from our customers, so we are excited about this solution in response to their feedback,” says Brian Rohloff, senior VP of customer support. “Currently, any amount of significant damage to landing gear requires replacement, which is a costly and time-consuming process. We are pleased to be able to solve this pain point and ultimately reduce operating costs for our customers while minimising downtime by providing them with a rental asset while we repair their gear.”
With initial testing taking place on the Cessna Citation CJ3 aircraft, the company plans to subsequently apply the repairability solution across all CJ series aircraft starting in 2021. Textron continues to evaluate additional Citation models that could benefit from such a programme. And, recognising the importance of long-term operating costs, the OEM is taking the opportunity to address future repairability for its Cessna SkyCourier and Cessna Denali turboprops in development.
Textron has successfully completed static and cyclic testing of the Citation CJ3 main landing gear with up to five lifetimes (75,000 landings) of the gear's life limit to substantiate the repair safe-life.
“We are continuously evaluating our products and services to ensure we are meeting customer expectations,” says Kriya Shortt, senior VP of parts and programmes. “Leveraging the knowledge of our engineering team, coupled with the expanded repair capability and special processing with which Able is experienced, demonstrates our commitment to cross-functional collaboration that benefits customers. The lessons we have learned from this project will pave the way for future innovations and enable us to continue producing leading-edge products.”
Able Aerospace Services is a supplier of component MRO, approved replacement parts and completion services. With headquarters and maintenance facilities on the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport in Mesa, Arizona, Able's products and services support almost 1,500 commercial and military fixed- and rotor-wing aviation customers in more than 60 countries.