Aircraft and Helicopter Repair
Many of Michaels Enterprises’ customers are large, multinational corporations employing hundreds of thousands of workers to design, manufacture, and sell cutting-edge airplanes, helicopters, rockets, and satellites.
In addition to partnering with us for new parts, aircraft clients often come to Michaels Enterprises for the repair of components that have been damaged in the field due to bird strikes, general debris, and even baggage handling equipment.
The two case studies outlined below serve to further illustrate our fixed wing aircraft and helicopter repair capabilities.
Fixed Wing Aircraft Repair - The Problem
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A major aircraft manufacturer came to us in need of a custom heating blanket solution for their aircraft components. The aircraft components were removed and rebuilt, cured, and sanded before being returned to service. The client required a flexible heating solution to provide the heat necessary for the resin curing when repairing carbon fiber composites. The client’s engineers also requested a very short turnaround for these heaters.
Fixed Wing Aircraft Repair - The Solution
The client chose to work with us based on our history of competitive turnaround times for custom products-typically 3-4 weeks. They also liked the fact that our team provides customer support and engineering assistance throughout all stages of the process without any extra charges or additional downtime.
Once we had a full understanding of the project scope, we developed a fully customized heating blanket solution to meet the client needs. We designed and manufactured a customized solution that met customer specifications, including proper wattage, voltage, and layout necessary for the composite part repair operation.
We applied our strict in-house quality assurance methods to the entire fabrication process. Bench tests were performed to ensure the heaters would achieve the proper temperature and the material could withstand high heats up to a maximum of 450 °F. Function and specification tests were also performed.
Ultimately, Michaels Enterprises created a blanket heater that avoided all specific application obstacles and still provided the uniform heating necessary to facilitate a consistent resin cure on the aircraft components. We were able to provide these high-quality heating blankets in a range of sizes and shapes to meet the clients needs. This solution was completed and delivered within the short lead times requested.
Rotor Blade Repair - The Problem
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Michaels Enterprises was approached to support another repair and maintenance application for a helicopter manufacturer. This client came to Michaels Enterprises seeking heating solution that would support the repair of rotor blades which were showing signs of leading edge wear and delamination. The blades were typically damaged from debris and normal wear and tear-both common issues for helicopter rotors.
Rotor Blade Repair - The Solution
The rotor blade mold was sent to Michaels Enterprises for custom repairs, and our team quickly got to work creating a custom heater that would conform to the product shape. Our team often uses images, plastic molds, and actual blades in order to create custom fitted solutions. However, sending the actual blade is quite expensive, so we were able to save the client money by basing our 3D pattern from a 3D model.
Our team created a custom layout to address the varying thicknesses and densities of the different sections of the blade. This was done to address thermal uniformity across the blade so we could optimize the result. We created a custom-shaped heater to match the unique measurements and tolerances of the part. Our engineering team ensured that the design covered the leading-edge area and fit properly and established maximum and minimum perimeters of the heated area.
Once the manufacturing was completed, testing and inspection began. First, using a meter test, we checked the resistance value to be sure it was the right resistance for the proper wattage-these results determine the amount of heat that must be achieved. We then performed a bench test to ensure everything worked correctly.
This application was unique in that we had to trim the shape and size of the heater to ensure it fit the rotor blade model the client sent to us. It was crucial that the heater properly molded to the shape they sent. The client was very pleased with the results we produced and continues to work with us to this day.
Aerospace Projects with Michaels Enterprises
Most of our competitors don’t enlist the help of engineers during the initial design phase, which means crucial details and innovative solutions are often overlooked. We, like our customers, understand the importance of having an engineer on hand before turning over a product to procurement. We take this dedication seriously, and it’s allowed us to stand apart from the competition for years.
If a client ever comes to us with a request for a new part that may not have pre-determined specs, Michaels Enterprises’ expert in-house engineers are able to assist in spearheading the process by determining the ideal materials, labor needs, and estimated costs. With lead times as short as three weeks-and rush delivery available for special needs-getting your products in a timely manner is always assured. Our prices are extremely competitive, especially for custom-made products.
Interested in working with Michaels Enterprises on your next aerospace project? Request a quote today to learn more.
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