Air Works receives EASA Part 145 approval for twin-hangar MRO facility at Cochin Airport

Radhika Bansal

14 Sep 2022

Air Works – India’s largest independent MRO and aviation services and solutions major, today announced that it has received the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) Part 145 Approval for its state-of-the-art twin-hangar MRO facility at the Cochin International Airport.

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 145 Approval is a company-level certification to the European Commission Regulation standards of design, production, maintenance and operation of aircraft components. An aircraft component is described as any product, part, or appliance installed in European aircraft.

Air Works receives EASA Part 145 approval for twin-hangar MRO facility at Cochin Airport

With EASA approval, Air Works will be able to offer full MPD support for the Airbus 320 family (includingA318/ A319/ A320/ A321) for Base maintenance up to and including 120-month inspection for all 4 engine options viz. PW1100G, CFM 56, Leap-1A and IAE V2500, C-Checks, structural and corrosion inspections, as well as undertaking major repairs and modifications for the Airbus 320 aircraft family, in addition to End-of-lease-transitions, bridging checks and engine changes.

“We are excited to enhance our EASA-certified capacity and capabilities which will expand the scale of our operations and support to regional aircraft operators and global lessors. EASAs 145 approval of our Kochi facility was a much-awaited and long-overdue milestone and is a step forward in accelerating indigenous maintenance, complementing the country’s ambition of becoming Atmanirbhar and an MRO hub. I take this occasion to acknowledge the relentless commitment of our Quality team who have been instrumental in securing this approval.”D Anand Bhaskar, Managing Director & CEO, Air Works Group

The location of the Kochi MRO facility at the Cochin Int’l Airport is strategic, given that Kochi has been a hub for leading carriers from the Middle East.

The EASA 145 approval comes at a time when Air Works recently expanded its operations to Dubai in an endeavour to enhance access to its cost-effective and industry-leading workmanship to both international and domestic carriers, reinforcing its position of being India’s most loved MRO.

“With EASA Part 145 approval, we are now uniquely poised to offer flexible maintenance support to our customers from two independent facilities providing end-to-end Engineering & maintenance services. The approval enables us offer and undertake a comprehensive series of maintenance checks and repairs, ranging from simple to complex ones on A320 aircraft that dominate the narrow body market in India, including the various airworthiness directives (AD) & Supplemental Type Certifications (STC) from time to time.Over time, I see Kochi becoming a preferred maintenance facility for both domestic as well as incoming carriers from the SAARC, South-East Asia, Middle East and North Africa."Mangesh Karyakarte, Chief Sales Officer - Commercial & Defense MRO, Air Works Group

The Kochi facility – commissioned in March 2021 during the pandemic, is already certified by the DGCA. It is also a DGCA-certified facility for Air Works’ Business Aviation (General Aviation) customers for a variety of aircraft.

The twin-hangar MRO facility at Kochi, spread over 50,000 sqm, has been thoughtfully designed and is acompletely integrated, independent setup, housing key workshops equipped to undertake structures, interiors, and composites repairs to support timely aircraft maintenance & turnaround.

Kochi complements Air Works’ primary facility at Hosur, Tamil Nadu, which incidentally, is India’s first EASA-certified Commercial MRO facility in 2009. In addition to the Airbus320 family, Hosur also offers full MPD support for ATR 42-400/500/72-212A and Boeing B737-600/700/800 and 900.

The Kochi facility – commissioned in March 2021 during the pandemic, is already certified by the DGCA.

The consistent and successful renewal of Air Works’ EASA certification for over a decade demonstrates Air Works’ unwavering commitment to its customers to upholding the highest standards of quality in aviation. The Group also undertakes MRO work for the Indian defence forces.

Having two independent facilities will allow it to spin them into specialized bases offering a comprehensive yet independent scope of services at each location, creating Centres of Excellence. Air Works intends to deepen its capabilities at Kochi by adding Type Approvals for maintenance for the B737NG family.

ALSO READ - Air Works to get 462 cr offer from Adani Group

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Boeing all set to up the production of its 787 Dreamliners

Jinen Gada

14 Sep 2022

The Boeing Company is planning to up the production of its 787 Dreamliners, since the US air regulatory bodies give the aircraft manufacturer a green light to resume its deliveries, citing a source familiar with the matter.

According to the source, the company is aiming to boost the production of the wide-body jet to three aircraft per month, from previously making one a month. After six months, Boeing is planning to further increase production to five 787 Dreamliners per month.

ALSO READ - Boeing to resume 787 Dreamliner deliveries

Nonetheless, the source noted that further decisions to rise production will depend on the aircraft's demand. In the past two years, Boeing was unable to deliver Dreamliners as a result of numerous production flaws.

Federal regulators said they are satisfied with changes Boeing has made in the production of its 787 Dreamliner passenger jet, clearing the way for the company to resume deliveries.

After more than a year, aviation giant Boeing will be allowed to resume deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft after the company made changes to its manufacturing process.

ALSO READ - FAA halts B787 deliveries due structural issues

Deliveries of the top-selling widebody plane have been halted since 2021, so the news will be welcomed by US airlines and travellers who have suffered from massive delays and cancelled flights in recent weeks, partly due to the shortage of aircraft.

Approval to resume deliveries would be a boost for Boeing, which collects a big chunk of each plane’s purchase price at delivery. Boeing has accumulated a backlog of about 120 undelivered 787s.

The plane, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, lists at USD 248 million to USD 338 million depending on size, although airlines pay far less than the sticker price.

The increase in deliveries of the Dreamliner could help Boeing with a positive cash flow this year.

Issues with the 787 started in 2020 when small gaps were found between panels of the fuselage that are made of carbon composite material. That prompted inspections that turned up problems with a pressurization bulkhead at the front of the plane.

Boeing also had to replace titanium parts including fasteners after it was discovered that the Italian supplier used alloys that did not meet FAA standards. Boeing hopes to resume production rates for the Dreamliner to be at least 5 aircraft per month

With new orders and excluding the Dreamliner backlogs, Boeing currently has a backlog of 3,959 aircraft, consisting primarily of its narrowbodies with 3,550-737s, 3-747s, 104-767s, and 302-777s. However, clearing these production backlogs would be slightly more complex for Boeing than its Dreamliner deliveries as the manufacturer faces supply chain constraints.

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Why do commercial jets have sweptback wings?

Jinen Gada

14 Sep 2022

If you look at commercial jets — as well as many privately owned airplanes — you’ll probably notice that most have sweptback wings. In other words, their wings don’t extend straight out from the sides. Instead, they angle backwards to form a V shape.

In swept wing technology the airplane wings are swept back at an approximate angle of 35 degrees. This angle varies as a result of an increase in wing length.

Generally speaking, the faster an airplane is intended to fly, the greater the angle of its wing sweep. So, what’s the purpose of swept wings, and is it really necessary for commercial airplanes?

Sweeping The Wing Back Delays Supersonic Flow.

The main reason airplanes have swept wings is to reduce turbulence. During the flight, airplanes encounter turbulence from the friction created as air runs across the plane’s wings. The speed at which an airplane flies will affect the amount of turbulence it encounters.

At faster speeds, airplanes encounter more turbulence due to the increased friction of the air running across their wings. In some cases, the air can travel faster than the speed of sound, resulting in heavy turbulence that’s not only a nuisance for passengers but also a danger to the aircraft’s structural integrity.

Swept wings, however, are designed to reduce turbulence by slowing down the air as it moves across the surface of the wings. As previously mentioned, swept wings are longer than straight wings. Therefore, air moves more slowly across them, which reduces the amount of turbulence the airplane encounters.

The speed at which an airplane flies will affect the amount of turbulence it encounters.

On a straight-wing airplane, all of the airflow over the wing travels parallel to the aircraft's chord line. But, on a swept wing, only some of the air flows parallel to the chord line. The other part flows perpendicular to the chord - this is called spanwise flow.

Airliners, like all airplanes, fly because of the greater air pressure on the bottom side of the wings than on the top side. Air moves more smoothly on the top side of the wings than on the bottom. But when airliners move faster and faster, the airspeed that moves over the top side of the can wing exceeds the speed of sound. This results in the vibration in the plane body because of the resulting shock waves.

When an aircraft approaches the speed of sound, the airflow over the wing reaches supersonic speed before the airplane itself does, and a shock wave forms on the wing. The airflow behind the shock wave breaks up into a turbulent wake, increasing drag. The idea of swept-back wings was tested on high-speed supersonic planes.

When the airplane exceeds the speed of sound, a shock wave forms just ahead of the wing's leading edge.

Supersonic and subsonic refer to speeds faster or slower than the speed of sound. Anything going faster than the speed of sound, which is 343.2 m/s (1,126 ft/s), is travelling at supersonic speeds. Anything going slower than the speed of sound is travelling at subsonic speeds.

When speed increases, so do turbulence and drag, as a result of air friction on the wings. Swept back wings technology was introduced to solve this instability and vibration in supersonic jets at high speed. Wings are angled towards the back end, which creates an imaginary increase in wing length.

Airliners can achieve high speed, almost twice the speed of sound in the case of the Concord. Air travels further on the top side, thus safeguarding the airliner from shock waves.

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Delhi HC clarifies no stay of investigation in the alleged cheating case against SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh

Radhika Bansal

14 Sep 2022

The Delhi High Court has clarified that there is no stay of investigation in an alleged cheating case against SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh concerning the transfer of shares of the airline to certain individuals.

The clarification came on an order passed by Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta on Singh's anticipatory bail application in the matter.

The court, which had earlier granted interim protection from arrest to the businessman stated in its order dated September 8, As prayed by learned Additional Standing Counsel for the State, it is clarified that there is no stay of investigation.

Delhi HC clarifies no stay of investigation in the alleged cheating case against SpiceJet's Ajay Singh

ALSO READ - FIR filed against SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh; the airline calls it a “bogus complaint”

The court listed the matter for further hearing on November 29 and said the interim order shall continue to remain in operation in the meantime. List on November 29, 2022. Interim orders to continue, it said.

In the present case, which pertains to two similar FIRs, a Delhi businessman and his family members have alleged that there was a share-purchase agreement between him and the accused and they paid INR 10 lakh for 10 lakh shares of SpiceJet.

ALSO READ - SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh’s anticipatory bail application denied by the Delhi Sessions Court

These shares, however, were not transferred leading to the filing of the police complaint against Singh. The complainant has also claimed that the accused "dishonestly" handed over outdated and invalid DIS (delivery instruction slip) to him.

On April 7, the court had ordered that no coercive action shall be taken against Ajay Singh while directing him to join the investigation and keep the disputed shares secured and give an undertaking in this regard to the investigating agency.

The court had opined that the dispute between the parties appeared to be civil and it cannot be ignored that the petitioner is a Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet Airlines and has deep social roots in the society.

Seeking anticipatory bail, Singh represented by senior advocates Vikas Pahwa and Siddharth Aggarwal -- has submitted that ex-facie no offence was made out against him and the criminal case was an abuse of the criminal machinery.

Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa appeared for the complainant in the matter and strongly opposed the anticipatory bail plea and submitted that Ajay Singh has cheated the complaints by handing over invalid transaction slips in 2018 which were already expired in 2016.

He’s also taking a false plea of not transferring the shares due to ongoing arbitration proceedings, where no stay or embargo is given. His plea is fraudulent and dishonest. He has pledged the same shares to the bank and taken loans during the subsistence of the arbitration proceedings.

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Amidst the face-off between Rafale(M) and F-18 Super Hornet, Russian MiG 29K primarily operate from INS Vikrant


14 Sep 2022

After a ceremonious induction into service, the race has been on to determine who best would operate from INS Vikrant and would be by the Indian Navy's requirements.

It appears that the "Black Panthers" - a naval variant of the Russian-built MiG-29, would be the primary fighters of INS Vikrant, the largest ship ever constructed in India. The Indian Air Force has employed the aircraft for a very long time.

Representative | Indian Defense Forum

35 aircraft can be housed on the INS Vikrant. The largest ship ever built in India, INS Vikrant, will have the Russian-made MiG-29K as its primary weaponry while India is acquiring either the Boeing F-18 Super Hornet or Dassault Rafale M.

ALSO READ - Boeing calls F/A-18 Super Hornet “the best deck-based aircraft” for the Indian Navy

Zee News

The MiG 29K

The MiG-29K will be flown from the INS Vikrant and will be used to attack both the air and the ground.

The MiG-29K is a fighter plane that can fly in any weather and can go faster than twice the speed of sound, or Mach 2. It can pull with up to eight times the force of gravity and fly to more than 65,000 feet in the air.

The Economic Times

The MiG-29K can attack targets in the air, on the water, and land, and it can fly long distances to complete important missions because it can refuel in the air.

The MiG-29K squadron is known as INAS 303, also known as the "Black Panthers," and is headquartered at the INS Hansa in Goa. It was hailed as a "game-changer" since it ushered in a new age of fighter flying in the Indian Navy.

The MiG-29K has sufficient power to perform both "air dominance" and "power projection" simultaneously. This offers a wide range of alternatives to the fleet commander at sea.


CREW1MAXIMUM TAKE-OFF WEIGHT24,500 kgPOWERPLANT 2 × Klimov RD-33MK after-burning engines,MAXIMUM SPEED2,200 km/hCRUISE SPEED1,500 km/hCOMBAT RANGE850 kmSERVICE CEILING17,500 mGUNS1 × 30mm Gryazev-Shipunov GsH-30 -1 autocannon with 150 roundsTHRUST/WEIGHT 0.95Wikipedia

The warship's airwing will also include Kamov-31 helicopters, American MH-60R multi-role helicopters and Advanced Light Helicopters(ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft(LCA) from Russia.

Kamov-31 | Wikimedia Commons

The MiG-29K (Korabelny) is a 4.5th-generation aircraft. It differs significantly from the IAF MiG-29B models that are most effective for air-to-air missions.

Russia delivered 45 MiG-29K/KUB fighters to India in two shipments. The second batch of 29 aircraft was dispatched in 2016. The first 16-plane group was dispatched in 2011.

The Defense Ministry planned to spend Rs 7,418 crore, or around $1 billion, in 2020 to purchase 21 MiG-29s and upgrade 59 MiG-29s.

It is a fighter that can do both air-to-air and air-to-ground manoeuvres. India is also attempting to enhance the capabilities of this jet in the interim. For the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29K/KUB fighter planes that take off from aircraft carriers, the Navy is testing a new mission computer.

At the MAKS Airshow, a MiG-29K with its weapons. The folded wings make the most of the small amount of space available on an aircraft carrier | Wikipedia

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, a state-owned firm, produced the mission computer. The new system is designed to provide the Navy with the choice of using the Soviet-era MiG-29K in conjunction with air-launched weaponry developed in the nation or the West.

The INS Vikrant may not be prepared for combat for another five to six months. Until then, operations will be flown by fighter aircraft, and the battleship will be equipped with surface-to-air Barack missiles. Reportedly, the tests are slated to commence in November and end in May of 2023.

Representative | Reddit

The Dassault Rafale has been favoured by many aviation experts because of the Indian Air Force's satisfaction with its performance, and the Rafale-M has been dubbed the ideal aircraft for the Navy. However, it has not yet been decided which fighters would replace the MiG-29K.


COVER: Livefist

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Pawan Hans encourages female aviators by organising the "Girls in Aviation India" event

Radhika Bansal

13 Sep 2022

The team at Pawan Hans Limited (PHL) recently organised an event with the theme "Girls in Aviation India" featuring Captain Ashima Mendiratta, India's youngest female multi-engine helicopter pilot.

Women have played a significant part in society's advancement since the dawn of time. They are breaking the glass ceiling by contributing significantly today in the Indian aviation industry as well.

The purpose of the event was to close the gender gap in the workforce by encouraging more women to work in aviation. It also placed a strong emphasis on fostering a visionary goal that would see the proportion of women in aviation rise from 15% to 50% shortly.

The event's keynote speaker, Captain Ashima Mendiratta, emphasised the value of women in aviation, emphasised the changing role of women, and urged female students to pursue careers in the aviation sector and its related fields.

The event was held at the Government Senior Sec. School in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh on September 9, 2022, and was sponsored by Pawan Hans Limited (PHL) and Women in Aviation (an NGO whose mission is to inspire women to pursue challenging and rewarding careers in aviation).

For advancing and assisting women in a variety of aviation-related verticals, Pawan Hans is the industry pioneer. The largest helicopter operator in India has the highest proportion of female employees in the Indian helicopter industry, with 4 helicopter pilots, 3 aircraft maintenance engineers, and 12 technicians.

Pawan Hans encourages female aviators by organising the "Girls in Aviation India" event

ALSO READ - India has its first female offshore Pilot-in-Command

While airlines operated flights with the all-women crew to celebrate Women’s Day, Pawan Hans Ltd (PHL), the public sector company that operates helicopters had its quiet moment in history when its pilot Capt Mayuri Deshmukh became India’s first female offshore Pilot-in-Command.

ALSO READ - Jyotiraditya Scindia wants 50% women pilots

Recently, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that 15% of total pilot strength in the country is women, while other countries have only 5% strength. With this, India tops the list of most female commercial pilots in the world.

According to Government data dated December 6, 2021, out of 17,726 registered pilots in India, 2,764 pilots are women.

The team at Pawan Hans Limited (PHL) recently organised an event with the theme "Girls in Aviation India" featuring Captain Ashima Mendiratta, India's youngest female multi-engine helicopter pilot.

Further as per the International Society of Women Airline Pilots 2020, in terms of gender equality in the flight deck, India (12.4%) is far ahead of countries like Ireland (9.9%), South Africa (9.8%), Canada & Germany (6.9%), Australia (5.8%), USA (5.4%), UK (4.7%) among others.

As per the same survey, smaller regional airlines are the biggest employer of female pilots with a 13.9% gender ratio, while cargo airlines have the least ratio at 8.5% in India.

ALSO READ - We need to move Pilot training to India – Jyotiraditya Scindia

To boost pilot training in the country, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and its associated organizations have taken a series of initiatives. Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University (RGNAU), India’s sole aviation university, works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

As per the same survey, smaller regional airlines are the biggest employer of female pilots with a 13.9% gender ratio, while cargo airlines have the least ratio at 8.5% in India.

It was established in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh in 2013 under the RGNAU Act. Ranked among the top 200 universities of the world, it has been helping in creating excellence in the field of aviation.

To promote the training of pilots, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) recently issued award letters for nine new Flying Training Organizations (FTO) at five airports (Belagavi, Jalgaon, Kalaburagi, Khajuraho, and Lilabari).

With rationalized land charges and other improvements, the digitization of approval processes at the regulator DGCA brings greater empowerment to flying instructors.

Importantly, these initiatives have benefitted all aspiring pilots, including women pilots, due to the increase in the number of hours flown at FTOs and the number of commercial pilot licenses given each year.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, industry, and leading women aviation professionals, the Women in Aviation International (WAI) – India Chapter organizes several awareness programs across the country, with a special focus on young school girls, particularly from low-income families.

Recently, Northeast got its first remote pilot training school in Guwahati, as part of the central government’s quest to make India a hub for drone technology.

Under the flagship Udaan Yojana, the democratization of the aviation sector took place and 1,93,000 flights were started based on viability gap funding in the last 5 years where the government will also bear the cost of the tickets.

(With Inputs from News OnAIR)