Aero-Dienst lands four-year contract with German Aerospace Center


Aero-Dienst, services provider for business jets and ambulance aircraft, has won a four-year contract with the German Aerospace Center (DLG) to maintain its Falcon 2000LX research aircraft.

The contract covers all work on the Falcon 2000LX EASy ISTAR (In-flight Systems & Technology Airborne Research) aircraft that is not covered by DLR’s own maintenance organisation. The work will include: base maintenance, such as 12M/24M/36M inspections, special inspections of engines or structural parts in connection with internally or externally commissioned research projects involving ISTAR.

The aircraft is an important part of the drive to develop sustainable aviation solutions, according to Martin Gestwa, DLR’s head of Research Flight and Technical Operations. “This research aircraft plays an essential role in the development of new, environmentally friendly and efficient aircraft, engines and assistance systems because the technology needed for climate-neutral aviation will be pushed ahead with the aid of ISTAR.” 

Used to collect data for optimised aerodynamics, flight guidance and flight control, the aircraft will help to develop the  digital transformation in aviation, according to the research centre. When fully equipped, ISTAR will test the flight characteristics of new aircraft designs under real-life operating conditions either directly or virtually, and either manned or unmanned. The DLR will create the first ever digital twin for ISTAR that will accompany it for its entire service life.

First ever digital twin

Specialist engineering help was needed from Aero-Dienst due to extensive modifications to DLR research aircraft, said Gestwa. “Maintenance and repair procedures differ significantly from those used for unmodified aircraft. So, we are very grateful to have found an extremely competent partner for our ISTAR research aircraft in Aero-Dienst.”

Major maintenance work, such as the annual inspections, will be carried out by the Aero-Dienst team directly at the ISTAR base in Braunschweig, in north central Germany. This is designed to allow DLR specialists to make efficient use of the research aircraft’s downtime for instrument installations and modifications as part of forthcoming research projects.

Aero-Dienst employs about 30 technicians in its Falcon team. Dassault maintenance manager Florian Heinzelmann said: “We are extremely pleased to have been able to conclude this four-year contract with the German Aerospace Center. The confidence placed in us is the result of our quality work, as well as the performance and enthusiasm of our Falcon team. This definitely underscores our capabilities on the global stage.”

In-flight simulation

Viktor Peters, Aero-Dienst MD, added the company was proud to be involved in aviation research dedicated to aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, structural engineering and propulsion. “We will also be using the know-how, expertise and experience of our teams to provide the DLR with our utmost in flexible support in relevant areas for future research projects, such as experimental aircraft flight control and in-flight simulation,” he said.

ISTAR joined DLR’s fleet 18 months ago following an initial conversion at Dassault Aviation. The fleet totals 12 aircraft and including helicopters.

ISTAR joined DLR’s fleet 18 months ago following an initial conversion at

Dassault Aviation. The fleet totals 12 aircraft and including helicopters.