March 2023 | Content by NE-3A Chief Engineer’s Office (NAPMA EN)

Chief Engineer’s Office Visits N-1 in Modification

Several members of the NE-3A Chief Engineer’s Office (CE) had a first-hand look at on-going modifications to N-1, the first jet to be equipped with Final Lifetime Extension Programme (FLEP) capabilities, 15-17 February 2023 at the Leonardo facility in Tessera, Italy.

The CE Office has responsibility for ensuring the overall upgrade and aircraft remain Airworthy. As Technical Airworthiness Authority (TAA) staff, NAPMA EN provides advice on system operational safety, suitability and effectiveness.

As well as meeting the Leonardo personnel, the team discussed activities with Mr. Pedro Lopez, NAPMA Systems Engineering, Integration and Test team, and Mr. Pedro Perez, NAPMA Quality Assurance, who are assigned on-site. Also present was Mr. Murat Atabey, NAPMA’s Retrofit Officer.

During tour of N-1: Mr. Kotas, Mr. Blankenburg, Mr. Perez, Mr. Maiorana and Mr. Atabey. © 2023 - NATO

This visit also provides an opportunity to introduce the EN Team:

Mr. Joseph M. Maiorana, Chief Engineer

Mr. Maiorana has over 20 years‘ international experience in programme development and execution. Most recently, he served as the Engineering Branch Manager and Deputy/Acting Programme Manager for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Programme.

Mr. Maik Blankenburg, Deputy Chief Engineer

He brings over 10 years’ Airworthiness experience in Safety and Software Certification from the German Bundeswehr. Mr. Blankenburg was the focal point for Communication and Identification at the Technical Centre for Aircraft and Aeronautics Equipment in Manching, Germany. In 2022 he served as Acting Chief Engineer for NAPMA.

Mr. Tomasz Kotas, Airworthiness Engineer

An experienced pilot with 2500 flight hours, Mr. Kotas provides extensive, diversified real-world operational and technical experience. From 2007 through 2011, he served as the Tactical Director in Squadron 1 in the NAEW&C Component and Chief of Analysis Branch.

Mr. Arpad Borbely, Airworthiness Engineer

With over 25 years’ of experience as an Airworthiness Regulator and Inspector in military aircraft maintenance, Mr. Borbely is the EN focal point for hardware configuration changes of the NATO E-3A design and for Operational Safety, Suitability & Effectiveness assessments. From 2007 until 2010, he served as Chief Engineer for the Hungarian Joint Force Command.

Mr. Jesus Fuentes Lopez, Airworthiness Engineer

A French Test Pilot School graduate, Mr Fuentes Lopez is Fixed-Wing Flight Test Engineer with over 500 flight test hours. Since 2003, he supported numerous programmes (Eurofighter, A-330 MRTT and A400 M), and most recently, served as an Aircraft Acceptance Officer for the A400 M Programme at Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation.

N-1 under FLEP modernisation. © 2023 - NATO

During the survey, the team observed the methodical approach to business and strong commitment to ensure the modification process is properly documented, so follow-on modification activities can be efficiently repeated during the Production and Retrofit phase.

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