Articles Tagged with: aerospace

Back Shops Series: Cabin Interiors

The Cabin Interiors department, previously known as Upholstery has had a recent rebranding to better reflect its full capabilities. The new title clarifies the various work that this back shop regularly completes. Cabin Interiors support aircraft maintenance checks by ensuring that the interior work is of the highest possible standard. 

When an aircraft comes in, Cabin Interiors liaise with the relevant Crew Chief to learn what interior work needs to be done. Often, it is the removal of seats or carpets but, jobs differ with every aircraft.

Cabin Interiors Supervisor Dave Lewis tells us more.  

“Our job is to focus on adjusting, fixing or replacing anything on the inside of the aircraft,” he says. 

Carpets, linos, seats, ceiling panels, trays and lavatories are just a handful of features that the back shop works on. Many of the tasks are done off the aircraft in the back shops themselves. Seats and other equipment are usually transferred to the back shop to complete a full service before being loaded back onto the aircraft. These jobs require a detailed visual inspection (DVI), which involves taking a very close look at the intricate structures to ensure that specific defects can be corrected. This can often involve a lot of material!  

‘In carpet binding, there are 5,000m per roll and on average, we use five to six rolls a day’, explains Dave. 

The team need to have a good eye for detail as quality and finish are crucial. Organisation is key as labelling needs to be accurate to ensure pieces are reassembled correctly. 

Dave continues: ‘Cabin Interiors provide a visual aspect of what the customer is paying for. We often get very good reviews on the visual work and we pride ourselves on the presentation. Finish is everything! Recently, a TAG aircraft came in with VIP seats – we had to dismantle them to remove them from the aircraft and dismantle them again to fit them into crates. They were very pleased with our effort, as we treated them with a lot of care as we always do. The satisfaction comes from finishing the job and seeing that the customer is happy.’ 

For a small department, Cabin Interiors contributes a quick and efficient service working around the timeframes of the aircraft work package. 

‘Nothing is impossible. We will always go the extra mile to ensure the customer is accommodated. Although, we are sometimes limited due to paperwork and manuals. If it is legitimate and safe, we will always cater to the customer’s needs,’ Dave adds. 


Celebrating World Photography Day

Today, 19th August, a community of people from across the globe are celebrating World Photo Day with the aim of inspiring positive change across the world.

The 2Excel Group (which includes 2Excel Engineering and 2Excel Aviation) prides itself on driving positive change across its many business divisions, from habitat mapping and oil spill response, to empowering women within the aviation and engineering industry.

Through sharing our own photos, we hope to raise awareness, connect with our own communities and inspire others – and positive change.

These are our highlights:

2Excel Engineering, a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul organisation – the sister company to 2Excel Aviation, is encouraging female engineers and technicians to join the industry:

2Excel Engineering is proud to celebrate the women in their workforce. From engineers like Maria Arnau pictured above, to customer and admin support and apprenticeships, women play a big role in 2Excel Engineering.

2Excel’s Aerobatic Team, the Blades, has been celebrating International Women’s Day for the past four years through connecting with younger people – no matter their gender – to inspire and encourage them to think about careers in the aviation industry.

The Department for Transport attended the day and produced a short video which can be found on their LinkedIn here.

This annual event is led by the team’s only female pilot and Department for Transport Ambassador, Kirsty Murphy. The event welcomed a variety of young students and a panel of inspirational women. The agenda was focussed on sharing knowledge and experiences. The ultimate goal – to inspire young people to aspire to anything they want to.

2Excel Geo, the remote sensing arm of the company, maps oil spills off the English Coast:

In June 2017, OSRL and Special Missions invited 2Excel Geo to participate in a complex oil on water trial. This involved the controlled spill and subsequent dispersal of 500 litres of Weald Basin crude oil off the English coast. The trial involved surface vessels, above and below water unmanned vehicles, tethered balloons, airborne (UKCS and Geo) and space platforms. The objective for Geo was to assess the utility of hyperspectral imagery to map and characterise the oil spill.

Help us break down the gender barriers today, and beyond, and share our photo highlights.

#WorldPhotoDay #2Excel #PositiveChange


2Excel Engineering’s CEO shortlisted for Lifetime Achievement Award

We’re extremely proud to announce that 2Excel Aviation and its co-founding company director, Captain Chris Norton OBE, have been shortlisted for ‘Employer of the Year’ and the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ respectively in the annual British Ex-Forces in Business Award. 

The Ex-Forces in Business Awards are the world’s largest celebration of ex-military people in second careers. They recognise the value veterans add to businesses as well as the employers that support the transition of servicemen and women.  

Business leader Chris spent more than two decades in the Royal Air Force, flying numerous operational tours, and was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross and an OBE for his front-line service. His Service career culminated in two tours in Whitehall, where he developed Ministry of Defence strategic plans, initially for the Royal Air Force and then for all three Services. On leaving the RAF in 2006, Chris used his nascent entrepreneurial skills to set about an ambitious plan to start a company specialising in complex aviation projects that others shied away from. 

Chris, who holds two positions within 2Excel, has predominantly focused his time over the past four years developing and modernising the former ATC Lasham MRO, after it went into administration. Now operating as 2Excel Engineering, the company delivers deep engineering maintenance, modification and repair services to narrow-body Boeing and Airbus owners and operators.

Entrepreneur Chris has held numerous roles in the business. He been one of 2Excel’s pilots, its Operations Director, its Quality Manager, its Business Commercial Director and is its Accountable Manager (responsible for its regulatory compliance, its safety and its viability as a business). As a Board Director, he sets 2Excel’s vision and strategic direction, resources its plans and develops and controls 2Excel’s oversight, operational and supporting processes. Unwilling to let innovation go completely, he still develops some of its more unusual lines of business and, when no-one else is looking, he still flies. He has developed a range of cutting-edge capabilities to deliver innovative contract-air services to Government, the Defence and Security Industrial Base, the Oil and Gas Industry and agriculture. 

Director and Accountable Manager, Chris Norton, said: ‘‘Thirty-percent of our workforce has a military background; from our pilots to our engineers. 2Excel is a company that recognises the talent and expertise that military experience can bring to a business and therefore, the economy.  

‘‘Within our Special Missions business stream, we recently won a contract to deliver a fixedwing Search & Rescue service for the UK Government and actively targeted service leavers and ex-service personnel who were already in industry during the recruitment campaign because we recognised the need for highly-skilled pilots and systems operators to deliver this contract.   

‘‘We’re committed to promoting within and using our people across the business as much as we can, and this has proved a successful strategy as we continue to win contracts against bigger competitors. 

‘‘Personally, I’m very proud to see 2Excel in the shortlist as we’ve worked very hard for a long time and everyone deserves this type of recognition. To be shortlisted for the Lifetime Achievement Award is also an honour. When I started this company with my co-founders, the vision was to launch an innovative aviation company where ex-forces could use their military skills and progress within industry and business. We have achieved this.’’ 

For more information about the awards, visit https://exforcesinbusiness.co.uk/ 

For further information, please contact:

Ben Griffiths

Head of Communications, 2Excel Engineering

ben.griffiths@2excel.uk

+44 (0) 7753 464 637


2EE wins three-year easyJet maintenance contract

2Excel Engineering, the UK-based independent Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO), has signed a three-year Agreement with easyJet to perform base maintenance and end-of-lease checks on the airline’s fleet of Airbus A320 Series aircraft.

The work will be carried out at 2Excel’s base maintenance facility at Lasham in Hampshire, which boasts a proud 70-year history of engineering excellence and has been reconfigured for today’s new realities. 2Excel has invested heavily in building relevant capabilities and capacity since it took over the business in December 2015. This Agreement further establishes 2Excel as an Airbus MRO and heralds the start of the return on its significant investment in its Airbus base maintenance Approval.

Chris Norton, 2Excel Engineering’s Chief Executive and Accountable Manager, said: ‘easyJet tried us out with three small checks in late 2018 and this contract has grown out of our performance then and the capabilities and strength we have built since.

‘Our focus is to create robust and enduring relationships with operators and owners by being very flexible to their changing requirements and, by redelivering their aircraft on budget, on time and to a very high standard. We’ve accepted the airline’s first four aircraft already and we’re excited about forging a strong, resilient partnership with easyJet for the long term.’

Brendan McConnellogue, easyJet’s Director of Engineering and Maintenance said: ‘We’re delighted to be working with 2Excel Engineering again this year. We started working with the 2Excel’s maintenance team back in 2018 and we’re confident that this new contract will help us deliver a challenging base maintenance programme and continue focusing on cost efficiency, whilst maintaining safety as our number one priority.’

About 2Excel Engineering

2Excel Engineering is an MRO based at Lasham Airfield in Hampshire, UK. It delivers service-oriented base maintenance for narrow body Boeing 727, 737, 757 and Airbus A320 Series airliners to operators and owners, leasing companies and governments. The facility has four large aircraft bays, a dedicated workforce of highly-skilled and very experienced engineers, its own non-destructive testing Approval and a wide range of specialist tooling.

To find out more, please visit: www.2excelengineering.com/

For further information, please contact:

Ben Griffiths

Head of Communications, 2Excel Engineering

ben.griffiths@2excel.uk

+44 (0) 7753 464 637


Chris Norton, CEO and Accountable Manager

Building on more than 60 years of engineering excellence, 2Excel Engineering (2EE) has established itself as the partner of choice for Boeing and Airbus narrow-body aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.

2EE has quickly cemented its reputation as a relevant, respected Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO) fit for the new reality. The business holds full Base Maintenance approvals for Boeing 727, 737 and 757 and all Airbus A320 family aircraft.

Chris Norton has led 2EE since taking over the business of ATC (Lasham) in late 2015. Before that he focused on strategic commercial development of sister company 2Excel Aviation since 2006, having previously served as a pilot in the Royal Air Force for 22 years.

We sat down with Chris to discuss his experiences and his outlook for the industry:

Tell us about yourself. How and why did you get into aviation?

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to fly. As a young boy in the 1970s, I avidly read books written by Second World War pilots. I went to air shows with my dad, who had a private pilot’s licence, and I did everything I could to go flying with him. At school, I joined the RAF section of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). I learnt to glide and went solo as soon as I was able to (long before I could drive) and got my private pilot’s licence one month after my 17th birthday. I joined the RAF as a pilot aged 18 and served for 22 years before leaving the Service to set up 2Excel. I have been hugely lucky to be able to have a career which wholly embraces my passion for aviation.

What were you doing prior to joining 2Excel? And what did you enjoy most about the job?

‘I have had three (proper) jobs in my life. I was a motorcycle courier (dispatch rider) in London for nine months between school and university. I joined the RAF as soon as I arrived at university and did 22 years as a General Duties officer (pilot).  Since then, for over 15 years, I’ve been at 2Excel. 

I love flying and particularly being able to do things with aeroplanes at the limits of what they, and I, could do. I was particularly interested in how you could modify aircraft with technological innovations and use them to influence other peoples’ decision-making. As my RAF career developed, I enjoyed the challenges of leadership and, at the end of my career, strategic planning.  At 2Excel, in addition to being able to help to build a fantastic team of people, I’ve been able to take novel ideas and make them a reality, even when that’s really difficult to do.

What’s the best thing about your role within 2EE? What gets you out of the bed in the morning?

What gets me out of bed in the morning at Lasham is the challenge of making 2EE work as a business. My role is to make it commercially viable for the long-term, to build its reputation and to ensure that it is a rewarding place to work. The best thing about 2EE is the team which, as an integrated group of very capable people, can do really cool things with aeroplanes.

What do you think sets 2Excel apart within a highly-competitive MRO market?

The skills and experience of the 2EE staff set it apart from its competitors. No job is too difficult and, its great being able to say “yes” when everyone else says “no”. Our customers really appreciate that we deliver on our promises as well. We provide our services in a very open and honest way which builds trust and, in turn, strengthens our long-term relationships with them.

What’s your take on the challenging situation the whole aviation sector is facing post-Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a strategic shock to the airline industry. In February 2020, there were 29,000 airliners in service. Two months later there were just 13,200 and nearly 16,000 airliners were parked up. At the end of this year perhaps 2,500 will be retired forever. As an independent MRO serving owners and airlines without, or with insufficient maintenance capacity themselves, our job is to attract enough customers to match our capacity. We fill our order book by offering better quality, flexibility, transparency and value for money than our competitors. 2EE has spent four-and-a-half years transforming itself to become relevant to the modern world.

We have become used to adapting to rapidly changing commercial realities. Every aircraft operator in the market is trying to make decisions on what is best for them, holding onto cash for as long as possible to be more resilient in the face of what might come next. Being comfortable with uncertainty is a natural position for 2Excel. Throughout the pandemic, we have responded well, and swiftly, to changing customer demands; we have provided a hugely flexible service and our customers are grateful for that. There was not enough capacity in the MRO market before the Coronavirus; now, perhaps there is too much. 2EE’s services need to be relevant to the new reality.

Where are the opportunities?

The vertical drop in passenger flying due to Coronavirus restrictions means many aircraft aren’t flying but they are still getting older by the day. Most maintenance is driven by calendar life so, it is still required and 2EE provides a flexible and capable MRO service to owners and operators across the sector. We support private individuals, governments, airlines and lessors and, while the amount of airline work has decreased, we know that that is translating into more work for the lessors.

Cargo capacity has dropped too (more than 40%) with the lack of hold space in passenger aircraft (because they are not flying). This has created even more demand for passenger to freighter aircraft conversions in the second hand aircraft market and 2EE has all the skills to help deliver that.

Tell us something about your life outside work.

I have four children in their 20s and I have to remain relevant to their changing needs too. Right now I am enjoying being their friend!

About 2Excel Engineering

2Excel Engineering (2EE) is a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul business based at Lasham Airfield in Hampshire. 2Excel Engineering delivers service-oriented narrow body Boeing and Airbus Maintenance to Operators and Owners, Leasing Companies and Governments. To find out more, please visit: www.2excelengineering.com/ 2EE is part of the 2Excel Group which also encompasses 2Excel Aviation, an innovative aviation services business, working across a range of industries including defence and security, engineering, events and disaster response


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