CFS Aeroproducts Ltd

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from CFS Aeroproducts Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

David Newhouse, CFS Aero
managing director
The engine workshop
at CFS
Even today, when most of us take air travel for granted,
as we drink our coffee in the clouds we often give some
thought to the reliability of the engines that power our
aircraft. At CFS, where repairing and overhauling turbine
engines is their specialty, managing director David Newhouse is
very conscious of the fact that the AA does not offer a service
at 20,000ft. CFS combine traditional engineering practices with
the latest technology to ensure every engine that goes through
their shop will faithfully perform exactly in the way it was
designed to.
A moment of madness
When Jon Freedman and I first walked into CFS in 2012, we had just come to buy
some machinery from the company, which was languishing in liquidation. Despite
neither of us having any experience of aviation, we were so impressed with the
dedication and commitment of the engineering staff we met; in a moment of
madness, we bought the company.
It soon became apparent that the company’s focus of repairing propellers and
engines in the general aviation market of light privately owned aircraft was not
going to be a profitable one, as a result of the very low profit margins in that
market sector. Accordingly, we quickly realised the best way forward was to move
into commercial aviation.
»Chairman: Jon Freedman
»Managing director: David
»Established in 2012 from
the assets of a company in
»Based in Baginton,
Warwickshire, near Coventry
»Services: Repair and overhaul
of turbine aircraft engines
»No. of employees: 30, who
possess an exceptional range
of diverse engineering skills
CFS Aeroproducts
Highlighting best practice
»The company is an EASA 145 regulated company approved to
repair and overhaul a number of engine types in the UK, Europe,
the USA, Canada, South America and the Middle East
»We are AS9110 quality approved incorporating ISO9001:2015
»The company has grown from a turnover of under £1 million to
over £7 million in six years
»We have just been awarded the contract to repair and overhaul the
engines of the Queen’s Flight from BAE Systems
»65 per cent of our turnover comes from exports to nine different
In 2014, we won the bid to become
the UK national distributor of Rotax
Engines, which is a modern light and
fuel efficient Austrian aero engine
which – on the larger models – has an
engine management and diagnostic
system. Rotax has generated a
significant additional revenue stream
for us in engine and part sales as
well as repair and overhaul work. We
have established a bespoke training
room at our factory and run regular
courses on servicing and repairing
Rotax Engines. We also actively
sponsor many industry events and
participate in trade events and light
Moving to turbine engines
After careful evaluation of many
different options CFS was encouraged
to move into repairing and overhauling
Honeywell ALF502 and LF507 engines
by Falko Regional Aviation Ltd, who
were biggest lessor of the BAe146 and
Avro RJ regional jets which were the
last jetliners to be made in the UK.
To make this major move from piston
engines for small light aircraft to
turbine engines for a regional jetliner
would require an investment of over
£2 million in specialised tooling,
equipment, creating a test cell and
implementing a comprehensive
training programme for the company’s
staff. At the time this seemed an
impossible task.
AMSCI makes it possible
We were assisted by BEIS through
the Advanced Manufacturing Supply
Chain Initiative. The company was
awarded £2 million loan and grant
funding. The scheme delivery partner
Finance Birmingham supported us
throughout the process, delivery
and management of the project and
has provided ongoing guidance.
Engines received and
fitted in Dublin
We don’t
consult with
our workforce
to pay lip
service to
worker and
Asaresult, the company was able to
expand its workforce from 15 to 35
people and is now the biggest repairer
and overhauler of this type of turbine
engine in theworld.
Our staff are our strength
We are very fortunate in having a
staff who considers their job to be
their vocation. Many of our team are
fascinated by aviation and have a
wealth of knowledge of aircraft and
their repair. As a board coming into the
industry with no aviation experience
our ignorance was also our strength
as we relied on our staff to come up
with new ideas and to guide us as to
what was and was not possible in a
highly regulated industry. This ethos of
genuine consultation continues today
on both a formal and informal basis.
We don’t do this to pay lip service to
worker / management co-operation.
We do this because our team have
a huge and diverse experience and
many great ideas which have been of
immeasurable benefit to the company.
Control and quality
In the aviation industry there are often
no second chances so tight control of
quality and process are vital. Everything
we do from receiving materials to
despatching a repaired engine is
controlled by our specialist aviation
software which tracks the provenance
and location of every component.
The future
We believe the biggest asset we
have in the UK aviation industry is
our highly motivated, skilled and
professional workforce. Because of
the high regulative barriers to entry
in the aviation industry we have a
greater degree of protection than
most manufacturing industries and at
CFS we plan to take advantage of this
by expanding into the repairing and
overhauling of other engine types. To
do this will require the financing of the
move to a larger factory as well as the
purchasing of tooling and equipment,
in addition to the creation or
adaptation of an appropriate testcell.
In the world of international aviation
“repaired in Britain” is still a hallmark
for high quality and safety which are
the most important drivers of almost
every industry buyer and we intend to
fully live up to this expectation as we
continue to expand ourbusiness.
We believe in training our staff to be
multiskilled as this enables them to do
a variety of different types of work,
which keeps their minds fresh and
allows them to continue to develop.
From the company’s point of view this
also gives us a flexible workforce who
can move to the part of the business
that needs them most.
Our turnover
and profits
have doubled
over the last
An engine on test at CFS
An Avro RJ ready for

This article was sponsored by CFS Aeroproducts Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.