Read this article in Wings Magazine at this link: https://mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?m=777&i=791272&view=articleBrowser&article_id=4574247&ver=html5
On the tip of the nose, radomes are vulnerable to bird strikes, hail damage, lightning, and static discharge. They protect highly sensitive radar antennas from weather and improve aerodynamic loading. Though highly important to aircraft structure, radomes are often overlooked. The slightest changes to their physical characteristics can adversely affect aircraft performance.
Ensuring optimal radome performance is crucial to flight safety and performance. M1 Composites, based in Laval, Quebec, has long been repairing radomes. In 2022, it took a major leap forward and opened its new indoor Compact Radome Test Range (CRTR) to conduct transmissivity testing of weather radomes.
Housed in an 82,000 square foot facility, the test range is a spherical near-field testing facility that ensures that the aircraft’s weather radar system is functioning optimally. The CRTR is the only one of its kind in Canada and one of only a handful in the world.
M1 can test military and commercial weather radomes 24/7/365 regardless of weather and provide the quickest turnaround time to all its customers.
Another key development in M1’s product range is its new engine covers. These covers are unlike any other on the market today. Developed and produced to protect the thousands of aircraft and engines grounded at the height of the pandemic, M1’s engineers worked side-by-side with one of its largest airline customers to find a solution. The result? A highly durable, lightweight, and transportable engine cover that requires only two technicians to install in under five minutes per engine. Its ease of use – no ladders or scaffolding required – ensures fast installation and the prevention of falls from heights.
When not in use, these engine covers can be carried in the cargo bay for use in off base operations and in all inclement and adverse conditions. Made of a high-strength synthetic fabric, the cover protects and prevents corrosion and premature degradation of engine lips, parts, and components. This new engine cover saved that initial customer $4 million annually in engine MRO costs.
This unique cover has already gained acceptance across the industry and aircraft types, including Boeing 737 MAX, 777, 787, Airbus A220, A320, and A330. M1 has since been awarded a contract by a major airline to provide these engine covers for an entire fleet. It is a testament to the quality of M1’s products, solutions, and attention to changing customer needs.
Evolving with the changing needs of customers is at heart of M1’s mission. The success of its new CRTR and engine cover are just some examples of M1’s commitment to research and development. Led by experienced engineers in search of cutting-edge technologies or improving tried, tested and true ones, M1 is a Transport Canada Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO) and Design Approval Organization (DAO) specializing in advanced composites and sheet metal structures.
M1’s push in engineering innovation and business growth has not gone unnoticed in the industry. In 2021, it was awarded the MACH 5 accreditation by AeroMontreal for continuous improvement.
In 2022, M1 Composites celebrated its tenth anniversary, and it continues to grow its unique market position and product portfolio. It is a leader in the repair of radomes, nacelles, flight control surfaces, and other structural elements for both commercial and military aircraft.
M1 has its sights on high to expand and grow the ever-changing needs of industry, its nose on its new Compact Radome Test Range and engine covers and is grounded in its commitment to provide innovative products and solutions to all its customers. Innovation is not just a byword for M1 but is at the heart of what M1 does everyday.