Knowing the exact weight and centre of gravity of an aircraft is crucial for safe operations, especially when you consider the high agility an aircraft, such as Eurofighter, can reach. For this reason, weighing systems must be extremely accurate.

A consortium, headed by the German Armed Forces Technical Center for Aircraft and Aeronautical Equipment (WTD 61 GF450), the system manufacturer Neuhaus Hamburger Mechatronic in Wuppertal and later Airbus Defence and Space, was tasked to develop a new aircraft weighing system suitable for almost all of the German Armed Forces' rotary-wing or fixed-wing aircraft. For the moment, Airbus provides the future post-design service (PDS) for the maintenance and repair of the system.

Airbus teams and industry partners all worked together towards our common goal to make our customer happy

Different teams have worked together to deliver the system. The In-Service Support team in Friedrichshafen has years of service experience and managed the project for Airbus. In Manching, the Weighing, Integrated Logistics Support (ILS), and Aircraft Mass Properties and Aircraft Ground Equipment (AGE) teams supported with their aircraft knowhow. Many other contributors paved the way for a successful test, support ranged from the creation of a new concept for COVID-19 protection to the provision of an Air Force Eurofighter for the day of the test. "Collaborating has been challenging under the COVID-19 induced restrictions", explained Johannes Bürkle, Project Manager PDS Aircraft Ground Test Equipment. "However, we delivered on time, on cost, on quality – and our customer is satisfied."

"I am very proud that the Airbus teams and industry partners all worked together towards our common goal to make our customer happy", notes Harald Mannheim, Head of Defence Solutions. "Focusing on the customer to develop a sustainable solution and deliver such service against all odds is what Airbus stands for. This also secures Airbus the first post-design service PDS contract without being the provider of the system."

"Offering services for external systems broadens the In-Service Support portfolio further", adds Sabrina Wiesler, Team Lead In-Service Support.

The teams are now working towards the release by the German Military Aviation Authority and are finishing off the final assessment reports. With that, the stage is set for the German Armed Forces to take the systems into operation. This release process is managed by the Federal Office of German Armed Forces Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw, WTD 81 AF140) and supported by the technical specialists of WTD 61 GF450. As the project manager put it: “We are very pleased with the work done by all involved, notably Neuhaus Hamburger Mechatronic, and happy to start working with our new aircraft weighing system. It was excellent industry and Armed Forces teamwork bringing these capabilities successfully back to the German Armed Forces”.

 

For more information on the topic, please get in touch with Service-Friedrichshafen@de.airbus.com.