Brookhouse carries out helicopter damage repair on-site

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 August 2004




(2004), "Brookhouse carries out helicopter damage repair on-site", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 76 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Brookhouse carries out helicopter damage repair on-site

Brookhouse carries out helicopter damage repair on-site

Keywords: Brookhouse Composites Ltd, Composites, Repair, Aircraft

Brookhouse Composites Ltd, of Darwen, has recently carried out an on-site repair of damage to an Agusta Helicopter using a portable Heatcon composites repair system. The repair was carried out at Blackpool Airport at the request of Brian Seedle Helicopters (BSH) Ltd.

Besides operating a flying school out of Blackpool Airport, Brian Seedle Helicopters provides service and maintenance to helicopter owners and is a Robinson Helicopter Company Approved Service Centre with a full 2,200 h overhaul capability. It also carries CAA approval as a JAR-145 maintenance organisation, qualified to carry out maintenance and repair of aircraft components manufactured from composite materials.

However, when an Agusta 109E helicopter required repair of damage to the exterior skin adjacent to the nose wheel, it was decided to bring in the specialist skills and expertise of Brookhouse Composites and allow BSH to concentrate on carrying out a standard modification to the helicopter by reinforcing the aluminium structure around the nose wheel.

Bearing in mind that BSH has an excellent reputation for the quality and finish of helicopter rebuilds and repairs, it was important that the Agusta repair should be not only functionally effective but also aesthetically pleasing. Consequently, Brookhouse decided to use their Heatcon portable hot bonding equipment to ensure the correct curing of the wet lay-up glass fibre repair, in line with the specification set down in the Agusta manuals. This required a cure at ambient temperature under pressure, which was supplied by means of a vacuum bag. This was laid over the complete repair area and the degree of vacuum was monitored by vacuum transducers. The measurements were transmitted to the system's central processing unit, so that precise control was maintained over the complete curing operation. (The Heatcon system also features a thermal blanket so that, if necessary, curing can be carried out under controlled conditions of both pressure and temperature.)

The Heatcon repair system, which has been approved by major aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus, complements the company's five existing, in-house autoclaves and four curing ovens, which cater for the majority of composites repair work. It is used primarily for small repair jobs, which can be carried out on the shop floor, or for on-site work.

Brookhouse Composites Ltd specialises in the manufacture and repair of composite components and has particular expertise in the aerospace industry, in both the military and the civil sectors. It holds JAR-145 approval to carry out maintenance and repair of composite aircraft components and was reportedly the first composite manufacturing company to gain approval for the manufacture of components for use in the aircraft of all 30 countries, which belong to the Joint Aviation Authority. It recently became one of the first companies in the UK to gain approval under the new European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) qualification.

It is one of a group of companies within Brookhouse Holdings plc, which together provide the expertise, facilities and resources in design and manufacture to meet the extremely high demands of today's aerospace industry. This total capability includes the production of moulding tools in composite materials and metals, the manufacture and repair of composite components to international approval standards, the manufacture of detailed components, such as metal skins and panels and the precision engineering of tooling, jigs and fixtures.

For further details, contact: Brookhouse Composites Ltd. Tel: +44 (0) 1254 706000.

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