The Challenge of Obsolete Parts

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The Challenge of Obsolete Parts

As with all industries and technologies, the aerospace industry is faced with obsolescence. Over the years, companies are acquired by larger ones, some go bankrupt and some are simply mismanaged. As a result, many STC’s for modifications are surrendered to the FAA or simply not maintained. This leaves operators and owners of aircraft with “Orphaned” aircraft.

While the aircraft may still be airworthy, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain airworthiness. When a part fails and needs to be overhauled or replaced, the original manufacturer is usually the place to turn to. What happens when the manufacturer has been acquired by a larger company or worse yet, when they have simply gone out of business? When acquisitions occur, there tends to be a consolidation of resources, and an increase in efficiency. However, what really happens is that knowledge of a product line is diminished. It can be so bad that a sales engineer can be convinced that they have never made a certain part before.

When a company goes out of business, the product line ceases to exist. A $500 part can ground an airplane or helicopter indefinitely. Operators and owners are faced with the difficult decision of whether to retire an aircraft, or perhaps make an undocumented fix. Is there another solution?

To face these challenges, engineering is required to find a compatible replacement part to develop a repair methodology. Simply replacing a fuel pump with another fuel pump may sound like the way to go but is it truly compatible? Will check valve C replace check valve P? Ventura Aerospace addresses these questions on many different projects.

Finding a suitable fit form replacement component is often required when converting old aircraft or developing new solutions. Our engineers are uniquely able to query vendors, track down spares and define replacements in support of our customers projects. Our ability to find compliance for PMA parts gives us the ability to replace OEM parts with new parts that are just as functional and perhaps more cost effective and available.

Adaptive engineering is often needed to ensure that a part can be installed. Performance criteria must be maintained. FAA approval is required. Each of these areas can be addressed by our engineering staff.

Contact us today to see how we can help you with your aging aircraft needs.

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