According to the Wall Street Journal, 28% of all helicopters are used in the oil and gas industry. The energy downturn resulted in many idle aircraft fostering a need for helicopter preservation services. Read the Wall Street Journal article here.
A major worldwide helicopter operator has had to shut down several Sikorsky S-92 helicopters used to ferry workers and supplies to offshore rigs due to the downturn in the oil industry. Declining oil prices have taken rigs out of commission for an indefinite period of time, so the company needed a way to preserve their helicopters during this downturn. In the industry, this process if often referred to as “mothballing” or “cocooning.”
The company contacted Protective Packaging Corporation for a helicopter preservation solution. Protective Packaging’s packaging specialists reviewed the requirements for the project in order to develop a complete solution. The helicopters would be stored as-is in a non-environment controlled hanger, and access must be available to the aircraft to rotate the blades periodically during storage. The company wanted to make sure the helicopters would not require any cleaning or refurbishing when market conditions changed, and the helicopters were needed for service. The packaging solution would need to protect against corrosion, mold, mildew, and other airborne qualities.
The solution was a packaging process that completely controlled the environment around the aircraft. This mothballing or cocooning process starts with unique, flexible moisture barrier films designed to prevent even minimal exposure of humidity to the aircraft, its engine, and electrical parts. This process guarantees no corrosion for a minimum of five years. The cost to provide this long term corrosion prevention solution was much more cost effective than an expensive controlled environment warehouse or hanger. The entire application process was completed in less than a day.
Long-term outdoor storage for aircraft can also be accomplished with this packaging process. Protective Packaging Corporation has provided long term packaging preservation for many of the top aircraft manufacturers and defense contractors in the world.
Any aircraft taken out of service can be packaged using cost-effective desiccants and barrier materials. Since our original post came out, several companies have contacted Protective Packaging for assistance in mothballing EC225 (H225) and AS332 helicopters that have been grounded for maintenance reasons.
EC225 Packaged for Long Term Storage
Layers of Moisture Barrier Packaging & Shrink Film Preserve EC225 Helicopters