Metropolregion Hamburg

New MRO – extending competence to new aircraft types

Aviation ServicesAircraft and Aircraft SystemsCabins and Cabin SystemsLeading-Edge Cluster Competition

The aim of this flagship Leading-Edge Cluster project is to develop new techniques and processes for the technical support (MRO) of future aircraft, with five focal issues and a total of thirteen projects.

Increasing competition and the resultant cost pressure are bringing many changes to the industry. Usage of composite materials such as high-performance composite fibres and hybrid materials is increasing, even in the primary structure (e.g. fuselage) of modern aircraft designs, so as to reduce weight and thereby also fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. But new technologies, such as electromechanical components, digital on-board computers for system status analysis and fault analysis, and the latest communication systems have also made their presence felt in the so-called “more electrical aircraft” generation.

These technological developments demand, in turn, completely new diagnostic and repair procedures. At the same time, airline customers, equally subject to the tense market situation and financial environment, are demanding that MRO service providers reduce maintenance costs and processing times whilst increasing quality. This means that MRO providers are challenged to develop new, more efficient and flexible work and production processes and integrate these into existing operational structures.

The flagship Leading-Edge Cluster project, “New MRO – extending competence to new aircraft types”, is addressing these far-reaching demands in a total of five focus issues and thirteen subprojects. The project is being lead by Lufthansa Technik in conjunction with many universities and research institutions along with numerous small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  Lufthansa Technik is able to depend on the proven scientific competence of Hamburg’s universities and on the experience and innovative strength of many local SMEs. Without this local concentration of competencies, such a wide-ranging and challenging task could never be successfully tackled.

The flagship projects has the following global goals:

  • adaptation of all MRO processes to new aircraft types
  • introduction of new technologies as dictated by new materials
  • adaptation of MRO processes to the wide variety of ecological challenges faced
  • development of maintenance and overhaul measures to reduce the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of aircraft
  • increase of customer value by means of faster and more economical MRO processes

These goals are being supported by the following detailed targets within the focal issues:

  • development of maintenance and repair technologies for major CFRP components
  • planning and process optimisation by increased use of IT
  • innovative methods and tools for component logistics
  • innovative procedures and processes for damage detection, diagnosis and claim resolution
  • market and competition strategies for MRO operations


Dr. Franz-Josef Kirschfink,


Lufthansa Technik AG


Lufthansa Technik AG (Hamburg) 

EADS Deutschland GmbH (Hamburg)

Automation Technology (Oldesloe)

DV Ratio Nord GmbH, Novicos GmbH (Hamburg)

WM- Maschinenfabrik Mecklenburg (Hamburg)

Hoedtke (Pinneberg)

Frankfurt Consulting Engineering (Frankfurt)

Ansys (Otterfing)

7P Solutions & Consulting AG (Cologne)

Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH)

Hafen City University Hamburg

University of Hamburg

Helmut Schmidt University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg (HSU)

Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW)

University of Applied Sciences, Wedel
University of Osnabrueck

University of Bremen

Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG)

University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hanover 

RWTH Aachen University
University of Paderborn

Sponsored by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the Leading-Edge Cluster strategy