New on the Heli-Expo exhibitor’s list this year is GlobalParts.aero (booth C3645). However, the company is not new. Founded in 2003, GlobalParts.aero serves the fixed-wing spares market and has now expanded its portfolio into the helicopter market.
GlobalParts.aero COO Malissa Nesmith told R&WI the company aims to be a “one-stop provider” for operators that have a mixed fleet of both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. The company can support various models from Bell Helicopter, Airbus Helicopters, Sikorsky and Leonardo, as well as the whole Robinson Helicopter Co. line.
To help with the rotary-wing part, two Parker Aerospace alumni, George Canale and Bill Vickers, joined GlobalParts.aero about a year ago. They both work business development now to focus on the expansion into the new market.
What was GlobalParts.aero’s motivation for entering the rotorcraft market?
Bill Vickers: We already are taking care of, say, an EMS operator or law enforcement and those guys are flying helicopters and they’re flying King Airs. Well, we are already taking care of their King Air or their Leer jets. It’s not that big a deal to transition over and take care of them on the helicopter side.
Why wouldn’t you make the progression to the helicopter market?
Vickers: It’s a very easy in for us because we’re committed to the customer already on the fixed-wing side.
George Canale: As a followup to what Bill has already provided, our current relationships with our vendors have products in the helicopter aftermarket and markets.
That’s another reason why it’s an easy transition for us to go ahead and assist our current customer base with products for which we already have an established relationship with from the vendor or manufacturer.
The company isn’t discouraged by the less-than-optimal current state of the helicopter market?
Vickers: If you’re going to start a business, it doesn’t hurt to start when [the market] is down because you have nowhere to go but up, right? ‘Is there ever a good time to start anything,’ I guess, is really the question. No matter what, you have to make a commitment and you’ve got to do it. That’s exactly what GlobalParts is doing.
Are adjustments that need to be made between supporting fixed-wing operators and supporting rotary-wing operators?
Vickers: Is there differences between fixed wing and rotary wing? Yes there is. It’s a totally different approach, although it seems so similar. There are some great things about the helicopter market, and when you work in the helicopter market, there’s nobody that will argue with you.
It does take a different approach when you’re dealing with guys flying one and two ships. When you’re dealing with customers that have 200 and 300 helicopters, they tend to be a little bit better grounded in what it takes to get their aircraft going, keep them going, and they understand it.
Have you seen any trends so far, concerning what products and equipment helicopter operators are interested in?
Vickers: I’m thinking the RDAU and displays on the Sikorsky S-76 are always a hot topic. It is something that we could probably have access to relatively easily.
Canale: Hydraulic pumps, fuel pumps, the Precise Flight alternating lighting system. They really like the batteries, for the customer who understands why a Gill battery is better than a Concorde. I think those are what we’re going to be able to enter the market with.
What other capabilities can GlobalParts.aero offer to the helicopter market?
Malissa Nesmith: We do manufacturing and have done build-to-print for MD Helicopters. So we do have the capability to do any computer numerical control machining and build-to-print that any of the original equipment manufacturers might do. We have done helicopter parts in the past, so that’s definitely an opportunity that we would like to discuss at Heli-Expo with anyone that we could.
Vickers: And from the repair station side, the repair station is FAA-approved. It’s the same parts that we can repair for fixed-wing. All you have to do is identify the parts, get the capability and we always will be able to do that because we are a repair station.
Nesmith: I think the one thing that’s most surprising to people when they come to visit us is the breadth of inventory and the wide number of capabilities. The one thing that I hear all the time when I have people come visit is, “I had no idea you did all of this.” So being able to then translate that into the rotorcraft market, I think, is a big opportunity for us.
Does GlobalParts.aero have anything in development, right now?
Nesmith: Expanded capabilities. I know that one thing that George and Bill have really enjoyed is the fact that we can provide kind of an all-inclusive solution for the customers. [We’re working on] expanding on those overhaul and repair capabilities, expanding on the manufacturing capabilities, as well as growing our product offerings on the rotorcraft side are all initiatives for this coming year. That’s why the timing couldn’t be better for us to be at Heli-Expo this year, with all of the new programs that we’re looking to offer to a mixed-fleet type of customer. We can be basically their one stop shop for distribution, overhaul and repair or any type of manufacturing.