RCAF EXPERIENCE

Gastops has a long history of supporting the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), spanning more than three decades. During that period, Gastops has provided a range of services touching all of the Air Force’s operational rotary wing platforms and several fixed wing fleets. The following is s brief description of the services Gastops provides to the RCAF.

CH-149 Cormorant

The RCAF operates a search and rescue fleet of 14 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters designated as the CH-149 Cormorant. Gastops provides the MRO services for the fleet’s Breeze Eastern rescue hoists including extensive overhaul and upgrade modifications. In addition, Gastops provides fluids, debris and vibration analysis services to the fleet’s aircraft in-service support prime contractor.

CH-146 Griffon

The RCAF operates a fleet of 85 Bell 412 helicopters designated as the CH-146 Griffon. Gastops provides the MRO services to Bell Helicopter for the fleet’s Breeze Eastern rescue hoists. Gastops has developed and implemented a modification to the rescue hoist and hoist controller that significantly increases the hoist speed in cold operations, a problem that had plagued hoist operations for many years. Gastops also provides fluid and debris analysis services to the fleet.

Gastops has also developed and implemented a precision laser alignment technique for the tail rotor drive system of the Griffon. This technology has now been adopted by Bell Helicopter on their Bell 412 manufacturing line at their production facility in Mirabel, Quebec.

CH-147F Chinook

A fleet of 15 Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters RCAF designated as the CH-147F Chinook, entered service in 2014. Gastops was selected by Boeing Canada to provide integrated health monitoring services to the fleet. This includes fluid analysis and specialist vibration analysis. Gastops also provides MRO services for the Breeze Eastern products used on the CH-47 platform.

Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone

The RCAF is in the process of replacing the CH-124 Sea King fleet with the CH-148 Cyclone, a military variant of the Sikorsky S-92. As Canada’s FLIR Systems Inc. authorized repair centre Gastops will provide the repair and overhaul services for the aircraft’s Star SAFIRE III EO/IR sensor system.

Lockheed CC-130 Hercules / CP-140 Aurora

The RCAF operates a fleet of Lockheed C-130 Hercules, designated CC-130 Hercules, and P-3 Orion, designated CP-140 Aurora. Gastops supports the fleet with oil, debris and vibration analysis and propeller balancing performed on an as required basis.

Gastops developed and supports an Engine Parts Life Tracking System (EPLTS) for the T56 turboprop engines used in the aircraft. This in-service asset management software system accurately tracks and reports the location, configuration, and status (usage and maintenance) of the over 250 T56 engines located at four operating based across Canada. The system provides complete cradle-to-grave asset visibility, enabling the Air Force and the in-service support contractor to maximize utilization of all engine components, thereby minimizing component ‘throw-away’ costs, engine shop visits, and third line repair and overhaul expenditures.

CF-18 Hornet

The RCAF operates a combat fighter fleet originally numbering 140 aircraft. Gastops developed the suite of ground support tools used to enable the RCAF to adopt on-condition maintenance practices for the CF-18 engine (F404-GE-400), resulting in significant savings in engine life cycle costs and improvements to aircraft availability. The tool set includes:

  1. ECMS (Engine Condition Monitoring System) which provides the database of engine fleet condition data, including location, configuration, modification status, life usage history, and maintenance history plus software applications to manage the maintenance activities, to monitor the life usage and to monito performance.
  2. FLTS (Flight Line Troubleshooting system) which enables engine technicians to rapidly and accurately diagnose engine faults so the right component is changed the first time.
  3. PCGS (Portable CF-18 Ground Station) which reads the aircraft cartridge tape magazine to extract the engine data required to feed the ECMS and FLTS applications.

In use for more than two decades this approach has paid for itself twenty fold and saving the RCAF substantial money every year.

CH-124 Sea King

The RCAF operates a fleet of 27 Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King anti-submarine warfare helicopters which are variants of the Sikorsky S-61 aircraft. For the past fifteen years Gastops has been the exclusive Integrated Health Monitoring (IHM) contractor for the platform. The IHM program for the Sea King fleet provides a cradle to grave health management of the engine and drive train components including vibration monitoring, precision shaft alignment and installation, rotor balance and diagnostics. The IHM program also includes onboard and test cell fitted MetalSCAN oil debris monitoring capability supporting the Sea King operations.

Specific problems addressed by the IHM program have included excessive engine and main gearbox vibration levels, secondary vibration-induced failures (e.g. engine mount cracking and seal leaks), engine bearing failures, nuisance chip lights, and main gearbox freewheel unit bearing failures.

Gastops manages all the in-service data collection and analysis activities using our in-house developed health management software. This integrated database supports the engineering effort to systematically develop, demonstrate and qualify new condition monitoring procedures.

Since its inception, the IHM program has made a significant positive impact on the availability of Sea King fleet and its operating costs, reducing both scheduled and unscheduled downtime.

In addition to the IHM services, Gastops also provides the MRO services for the following Sea King fleet components:

  • Rescue Hoist
  • Haul Down Winch
  • Primary Servo
  • Auxiliary Servo
  • Main Rotor Dampers
  • Main Rotor Hydraulic Blade Fold Components
  • FLIR 2000
  • Aircraft Vibration Analyser

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