Aerostar

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Aerostar S.A.
TypePublic
BVB: ARS
IndustryAerospace, defence
Founded1953
Headquarters,
Romania
Number of locations
2
Area served
Worldwide
Websitewww.aerostar.ro

Aerostar S.A. is an aeronautical manufacturing company based in Bacău, Romania.

History[edit]

Since its establishment in 1953, the company's name has changed numerous times in turn from U.R.A. to I.R.Av, I.Av. and finally Aerostar. It has been subordinated to the Ministry of Armed Forces and is currently a subsidiary of IAROM, former National Centre of the Romanian Aeronautical industry (CNIAR).[1][2][3]

An Aerostar-built Iak-52TW trainer aircraft

Aerostar has been a major provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for all aircraft types used by the Romanian military. The company also developed the IAR-93 twin-engine, tactical ground-attack and reconnaissance aircraft, which was the first fighter aircraft produced in Romania following the end of the Second World War. Furthermore, the company has also produced more than 1,800 Yak-52 trainer aircraft; it was manufactured in Romania in three versions: the Iak-52, Iak-52W, and Iak-52TW.[4][5] Aerostar developed its own range of light civil aircraft for aerobatics and sport aviation, such as the Festival light-sport aircraft.[6]

During the 1990s and 2000s, upgrade programs for both the MiG-21 (MiG-21 LanceR) and MiG-29 were developed by Aerostar in cooperation with the Israeli defense electronics specialist Elbit Systems.[7][8] Aerostar has implemented these upgrades to produce the Romanian Air Force's MiG-21 LanceR fleet from its existing inventory of MiG-21 and MiG-21 bis fighters.[9] The firm has also supplied similarly-upgraded MiG-21s to international operators, such as the Mozambique Air Force.[10][11] However, the MiG-29 SNIPER upgrade never progressed being a technological demonstrator as the service opted to concentrate its limited resources upon the MiG-21 instead.[12][13] Around the same time, a modernisation program was also carried out on the Iak-52W and Iak-52TW trainers. The firm was also involved in the LAROM modernization program, which upgraded the 40 APRA 122 FMC multiple rocket launchers belonging to the Romanian Army.[14][15]

During the 1990s and 2000s, the company became engaged in numerous international projects, regularly in partnership with various other aerospace companies, including Elbit Systems, Thales Group (Thomson-CSF), EADS (DaimlerChrysler Aerospace) and Textron Marine & Land Systems.[16][17][18] On separate occasions, Aerostar's management has stated that such partnerships are a deliberate element of the company's long term strategy.[19][20] One major sector of work for the firm has been the aerostructures sector.[21] Throughout the 2010s, Aerostar has continued to restructure its operations in pursuit of international customers, intending to achieve a decreased level of reliance upon domestic consumers such as the Romanian military.[22]

Starting in the 1990s, the Romanian government launched efforts to privatise many of its state-owned assets, including Aerostar.[23] According to aerospace periodical Flight International, various international companies, including the German aerospace conglomerate DASA, reportedly took an interest in acquiring the company.[24] In February 2000, it was announced that the Romanian government's 69.99 percent stake in the firm would be acquired by a private consortium of Aerostar management and employees (PAS) and IAROM; the nation maintained a golden share to potentially veto decisions that would seriously impact the firm's defense capabilities.[25][26] That same year, Aerostar was restructured as a limited liability company, reportedly for tax purposes as well as to increase its appeal to potential investors, which were actively sought to fund the firm's expansion plans.[27]

In the mid-2000s, Aerostar was contracted to produce Southern Condor powered parachute airframes for the American company Southern Powered Parachutes, which were sold to consumers in the North American market.[28] During the late 2000s, the company started manufacturing a new line of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with Israeli assistance;[29] multiple deals were arranged with foreign militaries for Aerostar-built UAVs.[30][31] In 2011, the firm received work from an agreement between Elbit and the Romanian Air Force to upgrade the latter's fleet of Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft.[32]

In recent decades, Aerostar has sought to provide its MRO services to various commercial and international operators; since 2003, the servicing and heavy maintenance of civilian Boeing 737s has been one such undertaking.[33] In 2012, to provide increased capacity for this work, a new hangar was completed at the company's Bacau facility.[34] During May 2015, Russian low-cost airline Utair arranged for its 737 fleet to be serviced by the firm; by this point, upwards of 50 737s per year were receiving C-checks alone at Aerostar's facilities.[35] Similarly, the company has also provided MRO services for operators of the Airbus A320 family.[21]

In September 2020, Aerostar opened a new aircraft maintenance center at the Iași Airport.[36]

Starting in 2021, Aerostar will perform the maintenance service of the Romanian Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft. The "Phase inspection" contract on F-16 number 1603 was awarded to the company on 17 September 2021.[37][38][39]

Warbird projects[edit]

Starting in 1996[40] the German company Flug Werk GmbH in cooperation with Aerostar Bacău SA began construction of FW 190 replicas. The first airplane flew in 2004, with a total of 21 aircraft being manufactured and sold as kits.[41]

The group of designers from Aerostar used about 3.5 tons of parts recovered from various wrecks found and reached a total of 8000 drawings. As no original BMW 801 engines were available, Chinese made Dongan Hs-7, license built copy of the Shvetsov ASh-82FN engines, were used. These engines had about 200 hp more than the original BMW engines. The landing gear, engine frame and exhaust system were redesigned, using modern materials.[41]

Three FW 190 Ds with Allison V-12 engines were also manufactured.[41]

Products[edit]

Model name First flight Number built Type
Iak-52 1977 1800+ Two-seat trainer
Aerostar R40S Festival 2001 Two-seat light sport aircraft[42]
Focke-Wulf Fw 190 2004 21 Replica single engine monoplane fighter

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jubileul". agir.ro. Retrieved 17 May 2022. (in Romanian)
  2. ^ Annual Report for the financial year 2020 (Report). Aerostar. 16 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Background". iarom.
  4. ^ "Textron Marine & Land Systems and Aerostar Announce Teaming Agreement". Reuters. 8 April 2010. Archived from the original on 1 July 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  5. ^ "AirVenture 2001 - US debut for Aerostar Yak 52 trainer". Flight International. 7 August 2001.
  6. ^ "About Festival". lightsportflying.com. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Aerostructures, Components, Assemblies Manufacturing". aerostar.ro. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  8. ^ Hannant, Mark (10 September 1998). "First look at upgraded MiG-21bis". Flight International.
  9. ^ "MiG-21 - Romanian Lancer Upgrade Aerostar/Elbit". Janes. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  10. ^ Thomas, Geoff (14 June 1999). "Partners' hopes ride on further Lancer upgrades". Flight International.
  11. ^ Hoyle, Craig (7 July 2014). "Mozambique receives upgraded MiG-21s". Flight International.
  12. ^ Jeziorski, Andrzej (24 November 1999). "Aerostar teams with Dasa on MiG-29". Flight International.
  13. ^ "Romania's Aerostar Teams With Elbit On MiG-29 "Sniper" Avionics Upgrade". Aviation Week. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  14. ^ "LAROM Multiple launch rocket system". military-today.com. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Aerostar looks at new types following ultralight first flight". Flight International. 12 June 2001.
  16. ^ "Aerostar has talks with Elbit and Thomson-CSF". Flight International. 12 March 1997.
  17. ^ "General Information". Flight International. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  18. ^ "ROMANIA - AEROSTAR ADVANCES". Janes. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Aerostar looks ahead with three-point strategy". Flight International. 25 July 2002.
  20. ^ Jeziorski, Andrzej (23 September 1998). "Upgrade house Aerostar hunts for strategic partnerships". Flight International.
  21. ^ a b Gubisch, Michael (26 March 2014). "Aerostar wins A319 C-check work from Fastjet". Flight International.
  22. ^ Morrison, Murdo (8 January 2018). "Analysis: The reinvention of Romania's Aerostar". Flight Global.
  23. ^ "Romanians plan to privatise Aerostar". Flight International. 14 June 1999.
  24. ^ "Dasa weighs up Aerostar stake". Flight International. 23 June 1999.
  25. ^ "Romania sells stake in Aerostar to consortium". Flight International. 23 February 2000.
  26. ^ "Bucharest to sell Aerostar stake". Flight International. 7 March 2000.
  27. ^ Sarsfield, Kate (20 February 2001). "Aerostar looks for fresh funding". Flight International.
  28. ^ Bertrand, Noel; Rene Coulon; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2003-04. Pagefast Ltd, Lancaster UK, 2003. page 81. ISSN 1368-485X.
  29. ^ Egozi, Arie (15 March 2010). "PICTURES: New Aerostar UAV makes first flight". Flight International.
  30. ^ Egozi, Arie (24 March 2009). "Aeronautics boss outlines Aerostar deal with Dutch military". Flight International.
  31. ^ Glowacki, Bartosz (22 February 2010). "Poland picks Aeronautics' Aerostar for urgent UAV deal". Flight International.
  32. ^ "Elbit lands Romanian C-130 upgrade". Flight International. 24 May 2011.
  33. ^ "Aerostar eyes maintenance market". Flight International. 5 August 2003.
  34. ^ Gubisch, Michael (1 May 2012). "Aerostar grows MRO business with new Bacau hangar". Flight International.
  35. ^ "Aerostar services UTair 737s". Flight International. 19 May 2015.
  36. ^ "Hangarul Aerostar de la Aeroport și-a deschis porțile". ziaruldeiasi.ro. 1 September 2020.
  37. ^ Marius Doroftei (21 September 2021). "Primul avion F-16 care va merge la Aerostar pentru lucrări de mentenanță". Aviatia Magazin (in Romanian).
  38. ^ "Romania-Otopeni: Repair and maintenance services of military aircrafts [sic], missiles and spacecrafts". Tenders Electronic Daily. 17 September 2021.
  39. ^ "MRO & Upgrades, Military Aircraft". Aerostar.
  40. ^ "FLUG WERK". All the World's Aircraft.
  41. ^ a b c "Replică și original – FW 190". IAR 80 FLY AGAIN (in Romanian). October 2020.
  42. ^ David C. Eyre (8 May 2019). "AEROSTAR FESTIVAL R-40S". aeropedia.

External links[edit]