Tell us briefly about the journey of Mahindra Aerospace till now. How satisfied are you with achievements so far?
Mahindra Aerospace was formed in 2008 to lead the Group into the global aerospace manufacturing industry. In line with the Government’s initiatives to increase private sector role in this sector, we entered two domains – utility aircraft and aerostructures.
The aircraft business is based in Australia and we have more than 200 of our 8-seat aircraft (Airvan 8) in service worldwide. We have also gained type certification for our new 10-seat turboprop aircraft (Airvan 10) this year.
In aerostructures, we inaugurated a modern greenfield facility in Bangalore in late 2013 and gained AS9100 and numerous customer approvals in 2014. Commercial deliveries started in 2015. We are thrilled that in this short time we could become a Tier 1 to both major global aircraft OEMs. We are also honoured to have the support and confidence of our customer base which includes respected global Tier 1s.
How’s been the business in the ongoing fiscal and how would you compare it to last year’s performance? What kind of growth targets have you set for the next two years?
We are in the early growth phase in aerostructures. After spending nearly two years in customer approvals and First Articles, our emphasis now is on serial production efficiencies and meeting demanding customer requirements for on-time delivery and quality. On the aircraft side – we are focusing on launching the Airvan 10 and will continue to develop new features for the Airvan 8 in line with customer desires.
Tell us about your overall manufacturing capabilities and capacities
Our aerostructures facility in Bangalore consists of a 25,000 sq m factory building with a component shop, an automated surface treatment line, two paint bays and dedicated assembly space. The component shop can handle Aluminium, Titanium and aerospace Steels and includes some niche capabilities like CNC laser-cutting, stretch forming and hydroforming. The surface treatment shop has large tanks for three types of anodizing as well as alodining and passivation. We also produce assemblies for the Airvan 8 which we ship to our sister concern in Australia.
The aircraft manufacturing business is assembling Airvan 8 and Airvan 10 aircraft. It is equipped with multiple assembly work cells, engine and system integration capabilities, paint shop, and a prototype shop.
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