Singapore over the years has amassed a comprehensive collection of aerospace capabilities and competencies, in no small part due to the success of the local Economic Development Board (EDB) in attracting new business.

The republic in 1997 secured new investments, estimated to be worth S$145 million ($87 million) and will create 800 additional aerospace jobs.

Among the start-ups announced last year is International Engine Component Overhaul (IECO), a new 50:50 joint venture between Rolls-Royce Aero Engine Services and Singapore Airlines Engineering (SIAEC).

IECO's new $15.5 million base just received its C-7 repair and overhaul certifications from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and European Joint Airworthiness Authorities.

IECO represents R-R's first industrial joint venture in Singapore and will be primarily geared around the refurbishment and repair of turbine nozzle guide vanes (NGV) for the RB211 and Trent family of engines.


The company will have exclusive coverage of the entire Asia-Pacific region and is already offering its services to a number of major R-R operators such as Cathay Pacific Airways and SIA

The initial throughput of work commencing from March will be RB211-524D4/G/H intermediate and low-pressure turbine NGVs.

"We are encouraging R-R to say 'here is a new facility, purpose-built for RB211 and Trent NGV repair' and to channel people this way," says IECO general manager John Wright. IECO's capabilities will expand later in the year with the addition of low pressure plasma and atmospheric plasma spray processes for high pressure turbine NGVs.

The company also plans to service intermediate and high pressure compressor stators and is considering repairing and overhauling vanes on the Adour military engine.

Rival engine manufacturers Pratt & Whitney and General Electric are also stepping up their activities in Singapore.

P&W in July signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SIAEC to form a new joint venture engine overhaul and repair company. The MoU has still to be firmed up, but would inherit all SIAEC's existing PW4000, JT9D and CFM56 engine work, but exclude the Trent 800 powerplant.

P&W has also acquired Interturbine's local operation specialising in servicing of stators and seals, which has been renamed Component Overhaul Services, and has chosen Singapore as the site of its second regional headquarters outside of the USA.

"This is all part of a wider move by P&W to get closer to its customers," explains the company's local vice-president Bob Keady.


GE and Semartect's US-based joint venture, Airfoil Technologies International, plans to open its new 65,000ft2 (6,000m2) plant in Singapore during the Asian Aerospace '98 show. Airfoil Technologies Singapore will act as a dedicated repair and refurbishment centre for compressor blades fitted to GE CF6-50/80, CFM56 and JT9D/JT9D engines.

The recent introduction of the Trent 800-powered Boeing 777 into SIA service has prompted Lucas Aerospace Singapore to invest in new tooling to provide after sales support for the powerplant's fuel control system. Other service activities include flight controls on the Airbus A300/310/320 aircraft, power drives on the Boeing 767 and helicopter rescue hoists.

SIA has helped pioneer the introduction of in-flight entertainment and is now adding audio-video on demand. To support this, Matsushita Avionic Systems is due to open its first Asian support centre outside Japan in Singapore shortly. The centre will service its 2000E System equipment, which forms the basis of SIA's KrisWorld and follow-on Wiseman system.

Matsushita Asia-Pacific operations manager George Lim explains: "The main reason we came to Singapore is that we had the infrastructure here to provide support for the region.

"Singapore is logistically and economically attractive, and to complete this whole project within just four months is quite a feat."


Singapore's aerospace activities are not solely confined to after sales support, but also include some manufacturing.

Sundstrand Pacific Aerospace employs 530 people producing electrical generating equipment and gearbox and actuator parts.

Sundstrand says it is investing some $35 million in new capital equipment and tooling, including computer controlled machining centres- inspection equipment and heat treatment facilities.

Maintenance and overhaul in the upswing in Singapore.

Source: Flight Daily News