User Story

Defence Aviation Repair Agency : GTX

They usually only come to your attention when they appear on the television news. Saving someone's life at sea as part of the Royal Navy Rescue Service; engaged in frontline activity in one war zone or another somewhere in the world; helping to transport food and medical supplies to the latest group of refugees; helping to rescue flood victims from the rising waters. They are the helicopters of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.

However, have you ever considered what it takes to keep the Chinooks, Sea Kings, Lynxes and Gazelles available for flying at a minute's notice, 365 days a year?

The answer is about 1100 dedicated professionals and a lot of sophisticated hardware and software located at the four Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) establishments in the UK.

DARA Fleetlands, based near Gosport in Hampshire, England was established in the 1940's. It now has overall responsibility for the maintenance, repair and over-haul of all helicopters, helicopter engines and selected mechanical components for all 3 services.

In addition they carry out repair and overhaul of the Tyne and 'Concorde' Olympus Marine Gas Turbines, currently deployed in the Type 42 Destroyers and Aircraft Carriers.

The Engineering Services and Design Division of DARA Fleetlands is the engineering and design authority for all the test benches and test rigs, without which the work of DARA Fleetlands would not be possible.

This 'Centre of Excellence' makes full use of the latest computer hardware and software tech-nologies to ensure that the test benches and rigs are designed to the highest standards. CAD has been used since 1989 and a network of AutoCAD seats is now implemented.

However, DARA Fleetlands is often faced with making changes to equipment that, for one reason or another, are only recorded on paper drawings. Like a lot of other companies and organisations world-wide, DARA Fleetlands have turned to GTX to help them solve their Paper-to-CAD problems.

Using a large format scanner, and a combination of GTXRaster CAD and GTXRaster CAD Plus licences, DARA Fleetlands are now able to bring their old paper drawings to life and combine them with their new CAD designs and models.

Running inside the AutoCAD 2000 environment, GTXRaster CAD enables the Engineering Services and Design Division to work with their scanned images efficiently and effectively - just as if they were working with CAD models.

Image clean up and enhancement are possible with GTXRaster CAD, as is the ability to make changes to the scanned files in either Raster (Scanner) format or Vector (CAD) format, a technique known as 'Hybrid' editing.

More often than not it is necessary for DARA Fleetlands to make a full conversion of their scanned images into vector (CAD) format. GTXRaster CAD Plus enables this conversion to occur quickly and accurately, with the minimum of interactive intervention. Vectorising using GTXRaster CAD Plus produces native format AutoCAD '.DWG' files that are 100% compatible with AutoCAD 2000.

DARA Fleetlands are looking forward to making even greater use of the GTX technology in the future. It is helping them remain on top of their daunting task of keeping the nation's military helicopters available and serviceable for the important and often vital work that they undertake -- even when they are not 'starring' in the T.V. news.

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Page last modified on June 29, 2001
Copyright 2001 by John Stark