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Sydney firm speeds up H135 generator repairs

written by Charbel Kadib | October 21, 2022

A Sydney-based aerospace company has reduced the time taken to repair starter generators for the ADF’s H135s from 18 weeks to just seven.

DC Roberts Aircraft’s improvement comes because the generators no longer need to be sent overseas for repair under Airbus’ global H135 repair program. The firm said it was also able to close the gap because it secured a contract to support Boeing’s Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) team in May 2021.

The H135 is a lightweight, multi-mission helicopter used to train prospective ADF pilots, aviation warfare officers and aircrewmen. Australia has a fleet of 15, with the first arriving in 2016.

“We’re always working to bring more rotary wing component repair work in country and to grow the number of Australian small-and-medium enterprises (SME) supplying our program, and COVID certainly reinforced the importance of strengthening our sovereign repair network,” Ian Gibney, BDA’s HATS program manager, said.


“By working with our HATS teammate Airbus, we determined that DC Roberts Aircraft could overhaul starter generators two-and-a-half times faster than the overseas OEM, meaning less interruption to the training of our frontline helicopter aircrew.”

Christian Venzal, Airbus Helicopters managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said the company would continue to explore opportunities to bolster cooperation with local industry.

“This fast turnaround time on the H135 HATS program to BDA cements the Airbus customer satisfaction commitment and is testament to Airbus’ ongoing investment into the local aviation industry,” Venzal said.

DC Roberts Aircraft managing director Bryce Roberts noted the benefits of the contracted work for the local economy.

“As an Australian-owned and -operated CASA 145 Approved MRO specialising in DC starter generators, DC Roberts Aircraft is thrilled to be working closely with the HATS program in support of the H135 platform,” he said.

“This work is a win-win for all involved, investing into the local economy and ensuring ongoing employment and development of staff.”

It comes after Australian Aviation reported in June how Boeing opened a new aircraft spare parts and chemicals distribution centre near Brisbane Airport.

The facility at Murarrie is the aerospace giant’s largest in the APAC region – three times bigger than its previous two distribution facilities combined.

Boeing said it would accelerate deliveries to the commercial, business, general aviation, helicopter and defence markets.

According to Boeing, the new centre also features the company’s only east coast ambient temperature chamber and large-scale freezer for storing chemicals, adhesives and sealants.

This is expected to eliminate the need for customers to store and maintain the correct inventory levels of highly-sensitive items.

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