Aircraft Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Modification Services
Lufthansa Technik is the leading provider of maintenance, repair, overhaul and modification services for civil aircraft. With tailored maintenance programs and state-of-the-art repair methods, Lufthansa Technik ensures the unbroken reliability and availability of its customers’ fleets.
Lufthansa Technik is an internationally licensed maintenance, production and development organization. The seven business units of Lufthansa Technik (Maintenance, Overhaul, Component Services, Engine Services, VIP Services, Landing Gear Services and Original Equipment Innovation) serve about 800 customers worldwide.
In an era of worldwide cooperation the aircraft is an indispensable means of travel. It can fly to virtually anywhere on earth within a day. In addition to its unique capabilities, it provides a degree of safety and reliability unmatched by other means of travel. The reasons for that are modern aerospace technology and meticulous servicing of aircraft on the ground.
Lufthansa Technik AG is one of the world’s leading providers of aircraft Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Modification Services
A modern airliner is a highly complex machine consisting of hundreds of systems and subsystems. To ensure the safety of passengers and to keep the airline’s flight operations reliable and cost -effective, all these many components have to work together flawlessly. The technical servicing of aircraft, including engines and all components, is what Lufthansa Technik does to perfection. It offers airlines and other operators of commercial airliners whatever they need to keep their fleets in the best possible condition and their operating costs at a low level — everything from minor maintenance to complete overhauls, from repair of defective components to comprehensive spare-parts logistics.
Maintenance: MRO Services Around the Clock
Lufthansa Technik operates maintenance stations with the capability to perform checks on customer aircraft at over 60 airports in Germany and around the world. Lufthansa Technik’s maintenance hub is Frankfurt airport, where it has three large hangars.
Here 4,000 staff maintain aircraft belonging to Lufthansa’s and many other fleets 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In Germany Lufthansa Technik moreover runs maintenance stations in Munich, Berlin and at another 13 airports.
In addition to the permanent stations, Lufthansa Technik has also developed a mobile maintenance service that is unique in the world, called the Airline Support Teams (AST®). These small teams consist of highly qualified engineers and mechanics.
When called on, they are able to repair damage to engines or to the airframe anywhere in the world within a matter of hours and thus ensure that disruption of a customer’s flying operations is minimized.
The technical maintenance of its aircraft plays a critical role in ensuring the safe, punctual and cost-effective flight operations of an airline.
Time lost due to an aircraft being unserviceable is expensive both in monetary terms and in customer trust: on top of the loss of revenue and the continuing capital costs, there is the risk of a loss of image as nothing annoys and alarms passengers more than delays and cancellations.
Overhaul: Beauty more than skin-deep
Lufthansa Technik and its subsidiaries in Shannon (Ireland), Budapest (Hungary), Sofia (Bulgaria), Malta, Aguadilla (Puerto Rico) and Manila (the Philippines) and the joint venture Ameco Beijing (China) all perform regular overhauls of aircraft.
These are the biggest and most labor-intensive maintenance events and can only be performed by maintenance organizations meeting special qualification requirements on the part of the aviation authorities.
The term overhaul refers to the Intermediate Layover (IL) check and the D-check. The IL-check lasts between two and four weeks and is carried out every three to five years. It is only required for certain aircraft types.
To obtain easier access to the fuselage and wing structure for inspection purposes, a number of large assemblies such as the high-lift devices are dismantled. At the same time numerous items of equipment and systems are tested and repaired as necessary.
Cabin components such as seats, galleys and toilets are also completely overhauled and, if necessary, the aircraft will be repainted.
Engines: 10,000,000 kilometers
Lufthansa Technik is one of the world’s leading manufacturer-independent providers of aircraft engine maintenance services. Aircraft engines are exposed to great stress. Thus, every individual engine in a four-engine widebody jet such as the Airbus A380 generates a thrust of up to 34 tons.
Continuous inspection and maintenance are necessary to guarantee the required level of reliability when these huge forces are in play. Before an engine goes to the workshop to be overhauled, it will have spent some 12,000 hours in the air and flown a distance of almost ten million kilometers. Every day it will be in use for an average of twelve hours.
To improve the overhaul and repair of engine parts, Lufthansa Technik’s engineers and mechanics are constantly developing new procedures. One technique they have developed, for example, is the “Advanced Recontouring Process– (ARP) to restore worn compressor blades. Engine blades are exposed to constant wear and tear.
The dust particles that are introduced with the airflow cause heavy erosion to the leading edges. In particular, deformation of the blades in the compressor can lead to enormous loss of performance, resulting in significantly higher fuel consumption. Under the ARP procedure, the extent of wear on the engine blades is first of all measured using a laser beam.
A computer works out the new blade contour, which is then applied by a welding robot and ground to the original contour by a grinding robot. Due to the as-new contour and the resulting cleaner flow of air through the engine, engines repaired with the ARP technology can remain in service more than 1,000 hours longer, while at the same time consuming less fuel and hence having lower emissions of pollutants.
Components and Logistics: Airborne Replacement
The landing gear is one of the most heavily stressed parts of airliners. Due to the enormous loads encountered, only extremely strong components and materials are used herein, for example high-strength steels or titanium. After eight to ten years at the latest it will be necessary to take the landing gear apart and subject it to an in-depth overhaul.
With its four sites and approximately 750 staff, Lufthansa Technik’s Landing Gear Services business unit delivers worldwide services covering every aspect of the undercarriage of an aircraft.
As a complete landing gear overhaul can take between three and six weeks and hence normally lasts even longer than a complete D-check of the respective aircraft, the customer usually receives an already overhauled landing gear set in exchange from the dozens of different types of replacement sets that Lufthansa Technik holds in stock.
Fast and dependable aircraft maintenance depends on rapid, global supply of spare parts. In the areas of aircraft component repair and materials management, Lufthansa Technik is setting standards in the aircraft maintenance industry.
Landing Gear: No Weaknesses Allowed
The landing gear is a vital and robust component of the aircraft, for which there is no built-in redundancy. To ensure that the jolt of a very bad landing can be reliably withstood without any problems, only high-strength components and materials are employed in the construction of this technically sophisticated assembly, which has to be taken apart and completely overhauled after eight to ten years at the latest.
In recognition of the peculiarities of landing gear overhauls, in 2006 Lufthansa Technik set up a dedicated Landing Gear Services product division with four locations around the world.
Together with Hawker Pacific Aerospace in Sun Valley, California, Lufthansa Technik Landing Gear Services UK in London, and Ameco Beijing, this product division is optimally positioned to provide global services covering every conceivable aspect of landing gear.