Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 12

COVER STORY

he composite repair industry is
driven by a world of ever-evolving
products made from composite
materials. New ideas, services
and products are constantly being
conceived, prototyped and developed. Composite Repair companies have respond to these innovations by designing new ways and
methods of supporting the composite manufacturing process and fielded
unit repair.

New Developments
Infrared view of setup
showing the uniform
heat distribution
achievable with 12
networked zones.
WICHITECH

In 2020, the basic requirements have not changed
all that much, explained Dave Junkin, president of
WichiTech Industries. Heat and vacuum are still
needed to cure most composite repairs. However, R&D
efforts continue to look for one of the "holy grails" of the
composite repair industry: a universal resin that cures

at room temperature. "In fact, WichiTech is currently
partnered with another firm to develop and produce
a DC hot bonder to work with a new, low temperature
prepreg," Junkin noted.
"In the 'old' days, OEMs would ask if it is possible to
do something; nowadays, the OEMs are asking how
you can reduce the costs associated with composite cures," Junkin said. In keeping with this theme,
WichiTech answers with new ways to apply the best
techniques. There is a company in Canada that has
developed a virtual reality training system for the
company's composite repair systems. Technicians
can be trained remotely by qualified instructors in
the correct methods and procedures for operating
WichiTech bonders in an ultrarealistic and sensory
immersive virtual reality experience.
WichiTech developed the first portable composite
repair set, the CR1, more than 30 years ago. The CR
series was designed specifically to perform small
area repairs on the Starship manufactured by Beech
Aircraft, which WichiTech says is widely regarded
as the first all-composite aircraft. "The CR was created to address localized defects from the manufacturing process or damage that occurred after
delivery," said Junkin. "WichiTech came up with a
portable, suitcase-sized hot bonder that could be
easily taken anywhere and only required a standard
electrical outlet to operate." This hot bonder was
used to apply localized heat and vacuum necessary
to cure the thermoset resins available at the time.
The portable hot bonder concept has been copied
many times since, the company noted.
Heatcon, which has been in the business for 40-plus
years, has developed an innovative composite repair
system called the Smart Susceptor hot bonder, which
uses inductive heating to apply heat during the curing
process. "The advantage of this system is that unlike
WitchiTech's HB-1 can be seamlessly networked,
enabling the interconnection of multiple HB-1's
to support extra large or very complex repairs.
WICHITECH

12

APRIL/MAY 2020	

AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY



Aircraft Maintenance Technology

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Aircraft Maintenance Technology

Editor's Takeoff: We Are Alone, Together
Developing a Strong Bond
Tech Spotlight: Meeting Military Standards
Paints and Coatings: State of the Industry Report: Aircraft Paints & Coatings
Special Feature: Does Your Coating Thickness Meet Spec?
MRO Feature: The Journey of Elliott Aviation
Product Focus: Ladders, Stands & Platforms - Build, Tear Down, Reuse
ARSA Insight: What Relief Looks Like
GAMA Insight: Strengthening the General Aviation Workforce
Professionalism: Compassionate Leadership During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Shop Talk: Welcome to Papa's Playhouse
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 1
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 2
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 3
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Editor's Takeoff: We Are Alone, Together
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 5
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 6
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 7
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 8
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 9
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Developing a Strong Bond
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 11
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 12
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 13
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 14
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 15
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Tech Spotlight: Meeting Military Standards
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 17
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 18
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 19
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 20
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 21
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 22
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 23
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Paints and Coatings: State of the Industry Report: Aircraft Paints & Coatings
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 25
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 26
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 27
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 28
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 29
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Special Feature: Does Your Coating Thickness Meet Spec?
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 31
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 32
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 33
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - MRO Feature: The Journey of Elliott Aviation
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 35
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 36
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 37
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Product Focus: Ladders, Stands & Platforms - Build, Tear Down, Reuse
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 39
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 40
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 41
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 42
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 43
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - ARSA Insight: What Relief Looks Like
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 45
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - GAMA Insight: Strengthening the General Aviation Workforce
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 47
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Professionalism: Compassionate Leadership During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 49
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Shop Talk: Welcome to Papa's Playhouse
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 51
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 52
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