A “SUPER” project gives new life to old parts

Airbus’ SUPER (Supply of Used Parts and Equipment for Re-use) project – launched in 2012 – aims to find a new cost-effective and environmentally-beneficial solution to meet the needs of its global operators.

28 March 2013 Feature story

The program is an affordable and eco-efficient answer for Airbus – and its business partner TARMAC AEROSAVE -- to fill the strong demand for spare parts. It takes components that can be reused after an aircraft is withdrawn from service, and repairs them for spare parts. 

Airbus monitored the initial aircraft in the SUPER project – a retired A340-300 from an Asian carrier – to see which parts could be reused, and tracked the process from taking an airliner out of service to the individual sale of its parts.
There are more than 1,500 parts in a jetliner such as an A340 that can be inspected and repaired including: engines, landing gear, rudders, tail assembly and cabin components. As long as the parts can be traced back to manufacture, their airworthiness can be approved for a follow-on utilisation.

“Airbus wants to be in a position to ensure we can offer customers all the spare parts they need at market prices,” said Michael Fürst, the SUPER project manager. “During the coming months, we will be busy setting up a business model to be best positioned to meet future challenges successfully within this highly dynamic environment.”

TARMAC AEROSAVE, which is located in Tarbes, France, specialises in aircraft recycling, storage and maintenance – and is Airbus' business partner for the dismantling spare parts pilot project.