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Safran Engineering Services receives EASA approval for the first major Supplemental Type Certificate (STC)


Safran Engineering Services has completed a program to equip a fleet of CRJ-900’s with Universal’s UniLink UL-801 Communications Management Unit (CMU). Not only is this a first of type installation for the UniLink UL-801 CMU on the CRJ-900, but the airline is also the first commercial operator in Europe to use the UniLink for ATN B1 operations. The project completion was achieved in the beginning of this year. A the end of a teamwork involving collaborators from Hamburg, Toulouse, Getafe and the USA, the customer was satisfied. The approval, issued by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 30th of April, represented a major milestone for the Safran Engineering Services DOA office and its partners.

Back to the need.

in April 2019, an airline requested Safran Engineering Services to perform a major aircraft modification and certification project. A new messaging function between air traffic control and the aircraft, called Protected Mode – Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (PM-CPDLC), had to be integrated into a fleet of Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft. The new function required the installation of a dedicated Communication Management Unit (CMU) and its integration into the aircraft’s avionics systems.

A transnational team

The development of this specific system required different expertise such as electrical, mechanical and avionics design, as well as certification and documentation creation. We immediately made the decision that Hamburg and Toulouse would share certification responsibilities as employees of the Design Organization Authority. Then, Getafe helped us with the technical documentation”, explains Cristina Cojocaru, Design and Airworthiness Leader in Germany, explained.

The main challenge was to stay connected and informed despite the distance and the reduced “face to face” working time. A strong team spirit and an excellent level of transnational cooperation helped us overcome these constraints”, Ana-Victoria Armendariz-Erives, the Project Lead who has brought this project to a successful end, said.

We all overcame communications challenges overcame communications challenges but diversity also had its advantages: the capacity to gather different experiences and to find extremely well thought-through solutions to meet all of the EASA’s requirements”, Pierre-Jean Mouronvalle, Design and Airworthiness Leader in France, added

In this our first major STC project, we´ve learned some valuable lessons in terms of cooperation and regarding the relationship with the EASA, among which: involve EASA into the project as early as possible, personal contact by phone call is key to get things moving”, stated Alexander Tsilikis, the DOA Head of Airworthiness.


A successful delivery

Not only did the Safran Engineering Services team perform the aircraft’s inspection and created all necessary design and installation documents, they also supported the customer on site in Valencia during the aircraft installation work and the ground tests.

  “The solution offered to the customer is efficient and Safran Engineering Services has been able to sell the STC for four additional aircraft operated by another customer. We are now able to offer similar solutions,” Wolf-Godart von Drachenfels, Head of Design Organization at Safran Engineering Services concluded.