Cobham Aviation Services needed a solution to service the Challenger 604 engines as part of the post-flight maintenance regime. The design of the Challenger 604 has the engine air inlet located over the trailing edge of the wing on both sides of the aircraft. Cobham was seeking a solution that could be safely used on both sides of the aircraft while reducing both the risk of a fall to staff or damage to the aircraft.

The assessment and measurement of an aircraft has traditionally been challenging. The concave and convex shapes combined with the elevation and potentially fragile elements means special care is required. It can make it difficult to accurately capture all of the details required including the location of the main landing gear and the position of the trailing edge of the wing to the engine cowl.

To better capture the aircraft dimensions, No Bolt used LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology to produce a 3D scaled model. This 3D model was imported into No Bolt’s design software which allowed engineers to test and verify a number of concepts against an accurate representation of the engine air inlet, wing, surrounding fuselage and main landing gear. No Bolt engineers were able to validate critical platform dimensions and undertake a risk assessment before the concept was sent to Cobham.

By harnessing the LiDAR technology, No Bolt were able to provide Cobham with a realistic 3D overview of the proposed access solution. This enabled Cobham to independently evaluate the solution with end-users with a presentation that portrayed the proposal more clearly than a traditional 2D or even 3D without the solution deployed.

This original solution was a First of Type (FOT) and would typically undergo a number of iterations post-manufacture given the complexity of aircraft geometry. Combining LiDAR and 3D technology, No Bolt and Cobham teams were better able to address potential issues prior to manufacture. These techniques enabled the teams to:

  • Develop a single unit to service both the left and right-side engines – saving both hangar space and budget.
  • Validate the workflow with the end-users and provide them with the opportunity to provide feedback on the scaled model before production.
  • Test fit the proposed concept in a virtual space rather than manufacture, fit and risk further modifications risking cost blow outs.
  • Undertake a more detailed risk assessment prior to commencing production.
  • Reduce the risk of a fall from height.
  • Reduce the risk of damage to the aircraft.

Scanned section of the aircraft

Platform in position

Scanned section of the aircraft with platform model

Platform in use

About Cobham Aviation Services

Cobham Aviation Services provides fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) services, critical freight, charter flights, and conducts aerial border surveillance and search-and-rescue (SAR) operations spanning the country’s exclusive economic zone and SAR region.

Cobham operates a fleet of Challenger 604 jets for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to conduct search-and-rescue missions. These aircraft were custom-designed and integrated by Cobham and they contain some of the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art technology ever to be integrated into a civil SAR platform.

Cobham’s skilled civil and ex-defence workforce is 900 strong, based across Australia at metropolitan centres and regional hubs. Cobham partners with like-minded organisations to deliver innovative solutions for our client through technology, aviation expertise and teamwork.

About No Bolt

Experts in Engineered Height Safety & Workflow

To get any job done safely and efficiently, you need the right equipment. And when it only takes one at height incident to change a life, you can’t afford the risk of complacency.

At No Bolt, we take an engineering- led approach to design and manufacture work and access platforms. We thrive on solving difficult problems, and with local manufacturing and 3D printing capabilities we can bring custom- built ideas to life quickly.

You’ll find our solutions across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region – underpinning operations and maintenance in airports, mine and construction sites, defence bases, manufacturing lines and transport depots.

Since 1959, we’ve worked at the forefront of height safety. From the first bolt-free scaffolding systems to pre-fabricated aluminium platforms built to withstand the toughest operating conditions, our expert team solve problems and save lives.