For the first time, RUAG Aviation has overhauled a Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206 engine. The maintenance of the engine that is used in the Airbus H135 and H135M helicopters was carried out in the engine maintenance.
The Swiss Air Force has more than 20 of these helicopters, which are still listed under their former name “EC635”. Each of these helicopters is provided with two Pratt & Whitney PW206 turboshafts. In the coming years, all of the engines of the Swiss Air Force’s EC635 are to be maintained by RUAG Aviation in Stans.As the Swiss Air Force’s industry partner and independent center of excellence, RUAG Aviation is tasked with the maintenance of the Swiss EC635 fleet. “It is part of our core mission to ensure the readiness of the EC635. Making sure that our military and civil customers benefit from maximum availability and the shortest possible downtime of their aircraft is our top priority,” says Heinz Scholl, Senior Vice President Military Aviation, RUAG Aviation.
The ability to maintain and test the engines in-house greatly contributes to reaching this goal, Heinz Scholl continues: “We no longer depend on outside service providers and are therefore able to substantially reduce the lead time required for the maintenance of the helicopters and to increase the availability of the Swiss EC635 fleet.”In Stans, RUAG Aviation has a modern engine maintenance shop that is organized according to lean manufacturing principles and that maintains the F-5 and F/A-18 jet engines, Safran’s Makila engines of the Swiss Super Puma transport helicopters as well as the Honeywell TPE331 turboprop engines. The third engine type is used in various aircraft including the Dornier 228, which is built by RUAG.
“By extending our range of services to cover other engine types, we strengthen the site’s competitive position sustainably,” explains Volker Wallrodt, Vice President Business Jets, Dornier 228 & Components.Experts from Pratt & Whitney, the engine’s manufacturer, provided the RUAG Aviation employees with an intensive 3-week training to prepare them for the PW206 maintenance work. In the past, the EC635’s engine had to be sent to Germany or Spain if major maintenance work had to be carried out. Now, all maintenance and servicing tasks applicable to the PW206 engine can be accomplished by RUAG Aviation in Stans.