By Rex Kamphefner President, Aerometals | January 1, 2008
When it comes to replacing parts on the MD-500, Aerometals has you covered. The reason: We have over 300 PMAs for the MD-500. Recently we added the vertical stabilizer to our list of approvals, so now we manufacture the tailboom, vertical and horizontal stabilizers, landing gear, and a long list of internal parts.
How can Aerometals sell PMA parts that are as good as the originals, at 30% less than the OEMs charge? Answer: We save money by making our products in-house; the OEMs don’t.
Less expensive is not the end of the story: Almost all of our parts benefit from engineering improvements. The reason: We have the advantage of talking to the A&Ps who have been working with helicopters for 20 years.
In most cases, we can implement engineering improvements to the part to the point where some Airworthiness Directives don’t even apply!. For example, the AD against the MD-500’s landing gear struts issued last summer involves a great deal of labor. But the AD specifically says if you have Aerometals struts installed, no further action is necessary. Aerometals engineered the problem out of the strut back in 1997.
Most of our machinists have been with Aerometals 10 or more years. Over time we’ve gotten all of them up flying in our 500D, just to emphasize the importance of the work they do. They make lots of parts for B-52 bombers and F-15 fighters too. In fact, every aircraft type in the USAF inventory contains some Aerometals parts because we’ve performed over 2,000 manufacturing contracts for DoD. (It’s hard for me to get them a ride in an F-15, though.) Sure, our parts are made under an AS9100 quality system, (even higher than ISO 9000) but the reason I feel good flying with PMA parts in our Aerometals 500D is because I know the man who made them personally and his kid, too.
We’re big fans of the MD-500 series here at Aerometals. We’re looking forward to seeing MD Helicopters get back on their feet and get back to building 100 ships per year. Meanwhile we’ll do all we can to keep the older aircraft flying. Call us and let us know what Aerometals can do for you.
Contact: Aerometals, 3920 Sandstone Drive, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762, 916-939-6888, Web: www.aerometals.aero