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Materials Science at Oregon State University

Ageless Aircraft in an otherwise Aging Fleet: Composite Repair - PLEASE NOTE - Seminar is on FRIDAY at 4PM in Kearney 212

Date: Friday, Nov 15th
Presenter: Dagmar Kinne, Senior Mechanical Engineer, Columbia Helicopters, Inc.


The aging fleet of aircraft in the United States is connected to a much overlooked business sector that has been able to maintain and safely operate aircraft 30 to 50 years old.

The original aircraft manufacturer has by now sold or abandoned the design and moved on to newer models. Composites and their bonding techniques that have been previously FAA approved lend their own challenges to repair, modifications and alterations especially when they are flight critical parts that cannot be purchased “off the shelve” anymore.

Composite repairs on existing FAA approved designs can be tricky because the existing manuals cover these usually in a rather vague manner. Obsolescence of adhesive systems and materials and the dying art of repair bonding are challenges for the industry. With intelligent assessments and some good industry and engineering practices repairs can be a good alternative and in some cases the only alternative to returning a part back to service.

Dagmar Kinne is a Senior Mechanical Engineer at Columbia Helicopters in Aurora Oregon who owns the FAA type certificate for the twin rotor heavy lift helicopter models 107-II (Vertol) and the Model 234 (Chinook). She came to Columbia Helicopters from Metal Innovations where she was the Director of Engineering being the engineering lead for a reverse engineering project of a Skycrane Helicopter component and before that from FLIR Systems, Inc. Dagmar is also rated as a flight instructor for Rotorcraft Helicopter (CFII) and has twice won the Bronze Medal in the all-female category of the World Helicopter Championship.