GE and Connecticut-based aviation support management company BrightWater United Aero Group (UAG) have signed an agreement through 2026 for UAG to supply line replaceable units (LRUs) and consumable spare parts for CT7 and T700 restricted category engines covered by GE TrueChoice maintenance plans.
CT7 and T700 restricted category engines power a variety of commercial helicopters for essential missions around the world, including firefighting, search and rescue and offshore transport. GE's T700/CT7 family of turboshaft and turboprop engines power 25 types of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft with more than 130 customers in more than 50 countries.
“Our customers count on having flexible options to service their CT7 and T700 restricted category engines, and that's why we're pleased to sign this agreement with UAG,” says commercial programmes director Elissa Lee. “This is another step in our mission to provide, safe, reliable and compliant maintenance and support services for our OEM products.”
“Expanding our relationship with GE builds upon our focus of providing unrivalled support to commercial, utility and military operators throughout the world,” adds UAG CEO Jamie Gelder. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to service the GE programmes in support of our mission critical customers.”
This agreement comes just two years after GE and UAG signed an authorised repair and services provider agreement for T700 engines powering restricted category and public use Black Hawk helicopters that includes the ability to offer exclusive engine upgrades to convert T700-700 to T700-701D power.
The T700/CT7 engine family can run on approved SAF blends, of which GE is heavily involved in the qualifying and testing.
UAG has also signed a definitive agreement to purchase the ACS group of companies.
Founded in 1988, the Advanced Composite Structures (ACS) and Rotor-Tech International (RTI) group of companies have more than 150 years of combined aviation management experience and expertise in repairing a wide variety of makes and models of helicopter rotor blades. ACS is a private company headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada with additional operations located in Stockton, California; Sanford, Florida; and Brisbane, Australia.
This transaction marks the first acquisition for UAG, who itself became part of the BrightWater group of companies when acquired in 2019. ACS and RTI will become fully owned subsidiaries.
“We are thrilled to add ACS to our family. The addition of its extensive repair capabilities and customer relationships will provide exponential growth to UAG,” says Gelder. “Having the airworthiness approvals across almost every rotary platform is what excites us about the addition of ACS to our portfolio. Our global customer base will immediately benefit from the combined services of our group as we accelerate our growth plans for the future.”
UAG is an OEM authorised independent service provider focused on rotary support for both commercial and military customers around the world. The addition of blade repair to UAG’s existing parts and engine distribution business provides consolidated support for its clients.
The acquisition is expected to be completed in Q2 2022.
ACS founder Bruce Anning adds: “We couldn’t be more excited to join United Aero Group given its global footprint and extensive industry recognition as a great aviation service provider. We started providing rotor blade repair services in 1988 and were the new kids on the block, and now here we are 34 years later with four locations across the globe. Staying focused on fixing problems, not symptoms using sound, solid solutions, we have grown this family-run business into the world leader in rotor blade repair. I couldn’t be more excited about the growth potential of being part of the UAG team, and together I look forward to continuing our direction with providing our customers with continued value.”