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November 2017

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Duluth Aircraft MRO Operation Adds Crane, Expands Output

Mark Ketterer (right), AAR Vice President Operations, and Rick Haus (left), TC/American Account Representative, view operation of the recently installed Dual Motor TC/American crane in the AAR Duluth MRO facility.

Technician performing a wing inspection while secured by a body harness connected to the new remote controlled crane. The crane and harness arrangement allows relatively free movement over the entire wing surface for a complete wing inspection.

The newly installed TC/American crane (left), shown here raising an engine cowl (right), is custom designed to meet the building and application requirements.

Major inspections and complete commercial aircraft refurbishments cover the range of services AAR Corporation provides at its Duluth, MN, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities. To meet growing demand, AAR recently expanded its output by adding a TC/American dual motor crane.

Integrated with two existing TC/American cranes in the Duluth facility, the additional 85' wide crane operates through the full length of the 90,000 sq. ft. hangar inside the 180,000 sq. ft. facility. The new crane allows for removal of components from the aircraft and placing them on movable work stands for various inspection, repair, refurbishing and re-assembly operations. With a one ton capacity, the newly added crane enables efficient handling of flight controls and engine components while the two larger cranes handle larger components including entire engines, avionics, airframe modifications, structural repair and refurbished cabin assemblies.

"We have been operating at capacity the four years since AAR acquired and expanded operations here in Duluth," said Mark Ketterer, AAR Vice President Operations. "Our current contracts are for work on narrow body aircraft in the Airbus 320 family from the shortest to the longest versions. We continue to operate at capacity, with 375 to 400 highly trained workers, servicing up to four of these aircraft at a time in this facility. We have completed service on over 250 aircraft owing to the efficiency of our skilled workers and the modern facilities that we have here including our newly expanded crane systems."

"Enabling workers to access almost any part of an aircraft, the TC/American crane system in the AAR Duluth facility is the finest crane technology in its class," said a company spokesperson. Designed for safe and reliable transport and precise position of sensitive aircraft components, these TC/American cranes are equipped with dual motors operated by remote controls ensuring components are positioned quickly with precise accuracy. Safety systems ensure transfer of components, which allows maneuvering and positioning components without contact between aircraft.

The crane has a travel rate up to 100' per minute. With an 85' span, it features a bridge beam construction with a 10', 8" wheelbase with end truck ties and side rollers to prevent racking during crane travel. One half HP motors with brakes operate by remote pendant.

The AAR Duluth's multi-crane system allows for the smooth transfer of the load from the aircraft to various work areas. The result is a sure and safe transfer from one area of the facility to another without the need to set the load down and locate another piece of material handling equipment to move it into the next bay.

"Through its MRO service delivery network, AAR provides a consistent approach and process to maintenance and modification work done on every aircraft type across its five aircraft repair stations in the U.S.," said Ketterer. "The same quality service is delivered at all of AAR's MRO locations including major hangar facilities in Miami, FL; Oklahoma City, OK; Rockford, IL; Indianapolis, IN; as well as Duluth, MN."

For more information contact:

TC American Crane Company

12070 43rd Street NE

St. Michael, MN 55376


AAR Duluth

4600 Stebner Rd.

Duluth, MN 55803


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