By Staff Writer | January 1, 2005
There When You When Need Them
In 1981, Robert Austin founded Helicomb International (www.helicomb.com) in Tulsa, Okla. His goal was to provide the best possible repair and overhaul of honeycomb bonded panels in the market.
Helicomb has worked hard to become one of the most acclaimed commercial and military helicopter composite repair facilities in the world. At the heart of this FAA repair station’s reputation is a knowledgeable workforce, whose skills have been recognized with the FAA’s Diamond and Ruby training awards. "Our highly trained and motivated people are the key to our success," says Austin. "They make the difference in everything we do."
A Broad Range of Rotorcraft Serviced
Helicomb’s helicopter repair/overhaul work-and PMA parts fabrication-is split about 50/50 between metal bond and composites. It has the capability and resources to support a wide range of helicopters, including both military and commercial.
Proven Quality and Performance for Clients
As a supplier of composite and metal bonded assembles, Helicomb has become an important player in the aviation market. In fact, several OEMs have selected the company as a supplier, due to its competitive pricing, top quality and fast turnaround time. Helicomb’s core competencies include complete program management for composite bonded structures, metal bonded structures, and metal processing for aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium components.
As a supplier to Boeing’s McDonnell Douglas military programs, Helicomb is currently operating at a Boeing Silver Supplier Performance Rating of 99.5% quality and 100% on-time delivery of over 2,300 parts. Helicomb’s Fixed Wing Manufacturing Division was one of the first Boeing suppliers to be approved for Digital Product Definition (DPD). This division also manufactures several fixed-wing assemblies in line with Boeing’s Model Based Definition (MBD) process. "This gives Helicomb the ability to manufacture master tooling and parts using electronic data generated in Catia or Unigraphics," says Austin. "This same data can be used to verify the part conformance on a portable CMM."
Helicomb also holds special process certifications from Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin, and has been third-party certified by DNV to AS9100:2001 Section 1, ISO 9001:2000.
Helicomb’s tooling department can respond to new projects with bond fixtures that insure fit and performance. Over the years, Helicomb’s tooling department has produced in excess of 500 bond fixtures.
In addition, the expertise the company acquired from its work on the Joint Strike Fighter’s wing and center fuselage (first load) is benefitting all of Helicomb’s activities. "The low-cost tooling techniques we developed and the rapid prototype development deadlines that we met gave us a real advantage in all areas," Austin says.
Parts On Hand
Helicomb maintains a finished goods inventory of approximately 500 overhauled parts for most helicopter types. These parts are maintained for rapid response to their customers’ AOG requests or immediate exchange needs. Helicomb has also received FAA PMA Engineering approval for outright sale capabilities. A recent 13,000-sq.-ft. plant expansion has been completed to accommodate both the finished goods inventory and storage of master tooling.
There When You Need Them
"I started this company to provide the best quality and delivery," muses Robert Austin. "Almost a quarter of a century later, we have stayed true to this commitment. But don’t take my word for it: call us at (918) 835-3999 or see us on the Web at www.helicomb.com, and find what we can do for you. After all, you are who we’re here for."