N3 Engine Overhaul Services, a joint venture set up in Thuringia by Lufthansa Technik AG and Rolls-Royce plc to repair and overhaul aircraft engines, officially opened its brand new plant on 14 September, for the first time providing a glimpse of its activities. The showpiece was officially opened at the special ceremony attended by Wolfgang Tiefensee (German Minister of Transport, Construction and Urban Development), Dieter Althaus (Prime Minister of Thuringia) and State Secretary Dr Joachim Würmeling (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology). Lufthansa Technik AG and Rolls-Royce plc have invested about ?100 million in N3's site at the "Erfurter Kreuz" industrial estate - and the result is one of the most advanced maintenance facilities in the world for large civil aircraft engines. N3 specializes in overhauling Rolls-Royce Trent 500, 700 and 900 engines, which power Airbus A340, A330 and A380 aircraft.
N3 was granted approval to operate as an EASA Part 145 maintenance facility for Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines by the European Aviation Safety Agency in early April. N3's 270 staff are currently servicing Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines belonging to the Lufthansa fleet as well as to other European and African airlines. The test cell was first used in July. Since April 2007, N3 has taken delivery of more than 10 turbofan engines. In fact, the first engineshave already been overhauled and left the plant following exhaustive testing.
N3 expects to receive approval to overhaul Trent 700 engines in 2008. In 2009, the N3 team will also start servicing the Trent 900 engines which powers the A380, the biggest passenger plane in the world. Apart from its existing customers, N3 will also begin serving other airlines in Europe, America, Africa and the CIS.
"Everything's going to plan at N3," said August Wilhelm Henningsen, Chairman of Lufthansa Technik AG, and member of N3' supervisory board. "The completion of construction in record time shows that choosing Arnstadt as the location for N3 was the right decision. What the N3 team has achieved so far is magnificent. As a result, we have been able to develop another high-tech overhaul facility within our global network with all together 27 companies."
Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, added: "The example of N3 Engine Overhaul Services demonstrates that companies will create highly qualified jobs in Germany given the right environment. 500 newly created jobs at N3 will give the region an enormous boost."
"N3 extends Rolls-Royce's worldwide maintenance network for Trent engines and underlines the huge importance of services for Rolls-Royce," declares Miles Cowdry, Chairman of N3's supervisory board and President Services of Rolls-Royce.
"Today's ceremony in many ways symbolizes both the resurgence of German high value added manufacturing and the benefits of international collaboration," said Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce Chief Executive, in his opening speech. "Together with the excellent support and commitment Rolls-Royce receives from our political partners in the regional and federal governments, the positive environment in Germany will in my view secure the success of this important new facility."
The Lufthansa Technik Mainbase Engine Shop at Frankfurt has commenced the comprehensive servicing of Rolls-Royce Trent 900 three-shaft turbofan engines.
N3 Engine Overhaul Services to maintain the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.
137 "rookies" have just begun either traditional or dual-study training programs at Lufthansa Technik Group sites in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Alzey, Munich and Arnstadt.
Rolls-Royce has entered into an agreement with Lufthansa Technik to offer extended maintenance capabilities to support the growing number of Trent engines in service.