Gears and Transmissions
Northstar manufactures a variety of transmission components for helicopters such as gears and auxiliary drives principally on a build-to-print basis. These complex components are integral to the transfer of power from the engines through the transmission system, and require sophisticated and precise machining and heat-treating capabilities.
Northstar is a prime supplier of defense helicopter transmissions parts and assemblies. The core of Northstar's aerospace gear segment operates out of plants in Chicago, Milton and Windsor.
Northstar is a primary supplier of AH-64, CH-46 and CH-47 transmissions, parts and assemblies. The acquisition of Boeing Precision Gear in April 2000 made Northstar the primary supplier of certain gears and transmission components to Boeing and the U.S. military. In addition, Northstar provides gears for the Black Hawk helicopter and several Rolls Royce Trent engines.
Accessory Gearbox Assemblies
Accessory gearboxes (AGB) transmit power from the engine to auxiliary systems in the aircraft such as ventilation and electrical power. They are made up of an intricate combination of gears that require precision machining. Due to the tremendous torque and energy transference, gearbox assemblies require sophisticated and accurate machining, heat-treating and assembly capabilities.
The principal applications of the Company’s AGB’s are for Bombardier's regional and business jets and the F-22 Raptor.
Rotocraft Drive Systems
Northstar manufactures rotor heads for helicopters. The rotor head transmits power from the rotor shaft and effects rotary motion of the blades. Due to the energy transference and tremendous stress placed upon the materials and components, rotor head manufacturing requires highly precise machining on metals such as titanium, and faultless assembly of components. These parts are primarily manufactured out of the Milton facility.
Northstar is a tier 2 supplier of rotary wing components, producing directly for the companies that design and assemble helicopters worldwide. Northstar's range of dynamic components are used on the Boeing CH-46, AugustaWestland Lynx, Kaman SH 2G, Bell 609 Tilt Rotor aircraft, Bell UH-l, AH-1 Super Cobra and the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk. These parts are primarily manufactured out of the Milton facility.
Machine Fabricated Parts
The Company produces a number of machined and fabricated products including structural aerospace parts, housings and casings for missiles and rockets, and parts for accessory power units.
These operations are carried out at the Phoenix and Windsor locations. Honeywell and Hamilton Sundstrand are Northstar's largest customers in this area. The Phoenix and Windsor locations have capabilities related to fabrication, special processing and sheet metal construction, which are primarily used for aerospace manufacturing.
Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul
The Northstar Chicago facility has contracts directly with the U.S. government to provide MRO services on AH-64 Apache transmissions and on the forward, aft and combiner transmissions on the CH-47 Chinook. Phoenix repairs a wide variety of structural components, wing parts and flaps on older aircraft for commercial airlines, courier and freight companies.
Phoenix D-Velco Aviation Services offers military and commercial (FAA and EASA) engine component and structural repair and overhaul services. These include containment rings, hot section components, airflow, and a number of airframe control surfaces and components.