Growth of the U.S. Airline Industry

In the wake of the rebound from the global economic crisis, one of the many areas that have seen a regrowth is the global airlines industry. The U.S. airlines industry is leading this regrowth, showing the biggest increases among airline industries around the world. This has, in turn, created greater demand, and has resulted in greater profits as well for U.S. airline companies as more flights are leaving runways on a regular basis.

Why Has the Rebound Been So Great?

Three major factors have led to the rebound, and will be counted on for further growth in the sector.

  • More People Travelling: The key factor to growth is clearly more passengers taking to the air, and there has certainly been an ongoing rise in that area. From increasing business travel, to more families willing and able to use airlines for vacationing, there has been a steady rise. This spring, for example, it is expected that the number of passengers will be up roughly 2.8% over last year. This is seen as small but sustainable growth.
  • Lower Fuel Prices: From 2014 to 2015, the average cost for one gallon of jet fuel dropped by nearly one dollar. Various airlines have used this to their advantages, in differing ways. Some, like the growing low-cost airline Spirit, have used it to pass savings on to the passengers and get more seats sold. Others have reinvested the savings into better equipment, improved training, share buybacks, and other business areas.
  • Better Business Strategy: The industry has evolved greatly over the years, particularly with the development of low cost airlines and the growth and development of new routes that has not been used before. Airlines have also invested in larger yet more fuel-efficient aircrafts, while developing how they manage cargo and passengers, in order to further streamline operations and either save money, or increase earnings.

One side effect of this industry growth is that planes are seeing more operational cycles, and will require testing more often – testing that will require tools such as our Tap Hammer testing device, to detect voids, degradation, and delamination in composite structures. With so many people depending on proper testing and readings for their travel safety, we take pride in knowing that we are continually developing and producing the best product to ensure the planes are still in full flying condition. At WichiTech we look forward to providing the equipment for composite repair to a growing airlines industry.

Aircraft Maintenance Checks

Even the largest aircraft in the skies operates within a delicate balance – when you are up in the air, even minor part failures can lead to major disasters, and unlike in other industries, a part failure in an aircraft generally leads to fatalities and major loss of property. This is why all commercial and civil aircraft that is large, or turbine powered, must follow a strict, continuous inspection program. This is a program that is approved by airworthiness authorities, be it the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States, the European Aviation Safety Agency in Europe, Transport Canada, or any other authorities in countries where a plane operates. These detailed inspections, often referred to as “maintenance checks” or “checks,” assure that planes continue to operate as expected.

There are four different checks set forth by the FAA:

  • A Check – The most common check, it must be performed roughly every 500 flight hours. This is a fairly routine check that can often be completed during an overnight layover at an airport gate, and can even be delayed if certain conditions are met.
  • B Check – Slightly more intensive than the A Check, the B Check is still able to be performed fairly quickly, to minimize downtime. It needs to be performed every 6 to 8 months, and is usually completed within 1-3 days at an airport hangar. Sometimes B checks may be incorporated into successive A checks.
  • C Check – Much more comprehensive than the previous checks, this must be done every 20 months to two years. It requires a large majority of the aircraft’s components to be inspected individually, and can take up to two weeks to complete.
  • D Check – The most thorough of them all, the D Check is a demanding check that is sometimes referred to as a “heavy maintenance visit.” It occurs every 5 to 6 years, and involves such thorough measures that it can be compared to taking the plane apart, checking everything down to the individual nut, fastener, wire, hinge, or component, and repairing, maintain, or replacing any parts that require it. This is an expensive undertaking, and many planes only have this done once or twice in their lifetime. This check can take up to 2 months to complete.

Here at WichiTech, we offer a number of instruments aimed at making your next aircraft maintenance check faster, more accurate, and all-around more beneficial to you and your company. This includes testers like the RD3 Electronic Digital Tap Hammer, a hand-held inspection instrument that can help detect impact damage, matrix degradation, delamination, and disbanding in composite and metallic aircraft structures. With available training kits and printers, this can help to cut time off of your checks without cutting corners, and keep your process moving smoothly to get back in the air.

Superior & Innovative Accessories by WichiTech Industries to Complement All Your Repair System Needs

Be it pipes or aircraft parts, structures constructed with the best of material and engineered sensibility are not immune to wear and tear. There might be corrosion. There might be breaches and dents. And there might be unseemly scratches that gradually affect strength and integrity of the unit. Under such circumstances corrective measures are essential to ensure the safety where the structure is installed and its optimal contribution to the process it serves.

WichiTech Industries Inc. is a market leader in the domain of portable composite repair systems. Crafted keeping in mind the rigorous needs of the job, the systems are a fine balance of cutting edge technology, economy and robustness. Many industries depend on WichiTech kits and accessories to conduct emergency repair exercises that stall the need for costly and inconvenient replacements.

Some WichiTech Industries Inc. Repair Accessories:

Composite repair kits are comprehensive unto themselves. But there are a couple of accessories that help take their effectiveness up a notch and are highly recommended by domain experts who can re-create ideal repair conditions without the laboratory set-up.

  1. Heating Blankets – WichiTech heating blankets come in a number of varieties. There are standards sheets as well as custom formations for 3D objects of awkward shapes. These heating blankets are guaranteed to maintain a uniform temperature profile over a given area to assist curation of repair agents as needed.
  1. Portable Vacuum Pump Kits – WichiTech Vacuum pump kits are small yet powerful. They prove useful in sucking away air and particulate matter that might negatively impact the repair process by chemically reacting with the deposited agents and strengtheners.

WichiTech also stocks printers, student training kits and vacuum accessories to assist the restoration to operational condition of units made of carbon, boron and even Kevlar. Please get in touch with us at 800.776.4277 to learn more about our catalogue of products.

Weld-X Thermocouple Spot Welder

If you’re looking for an accurate, efficient and portable wire welding unit, look no further than the Weld-X Thermocouple Spot Welder.  Made for spot welding and welding repairs, the high arc temperatures generated by the Weld-X can easily fuse all standard thermocouple materials.  The Weld-X’s straightforward and uncomplicated setup allow for anyone to quickly be adept at using it.

The Weld-X has many advantages and features that make it an excellent choice for your spot welding and welding repair needs.  Installation of it does not require skilled operators or prepared surfaces, and its size and weight make it one of the most conveniently sized units available in the market.  It contains a rechargeable battery and integral charger which allows for numerous welds to be made without the need to connect to any outside power sources.  Operation can also be powered from AC line voltage as well.

All standard thermocouple materials including platinum and tungsten can be easily fused by the Weld-X.  The strongest welded surface connections are usually made by ferrous materials, but very suitable direct attachments can also be made to aluminum, titanium, copper, and other alloys.  Field, shop and lab use are some of the most relevant areas where the Weld-X is useful.  The size, portability and ease of use make it a great tool in these environments.

WichiTech Industries, Inc. designs and manufactures simple, safe, reliable and value packed composite repair systems.  We offer an assortment of products on our website for a variety of industries.  Be sure to connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn for all company news and information.

Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry in America continues to grow and develop. As the economy has rebounded, the aerospace industry has been slingshot ahead of the manufacturing sector as a whole. A rebound in the aerospace industry means rebounds for other industries as well – aerospace manufacturing needs plenty of help from firms outside of the industry, from parts to service. This rebound can be seen in numbers such as government spending, where aerospace spending has increased 38 percent since the economic recession.

Unfortunately, the aerospace industry is not all golden. The workforce is having issues catching up to the jobs that are needed, with many areas seeing a severe lack of the necessary skills and degrees. For instance, in a report released earlier this year, a survey of 830 companies expressed a need for 100 industrial engineers, but with only 11 of them even available for higher in the area. There was also a gap between needed material engineers and available material engineers. However, there was an excess of mechanical and electrical engineers.

It’s not just the degree-track jobs that suffer shortages either. Machinists and assemblers are also lacking, two extremely important jobs that are essential to the finished product. It’s not for a lack of salary, either – the average aerospace worker makes over $22,000 per year more than the overall median.

So what can we do to address these issues in the aerospace industry? Much of its starts early, by demonstrating that a career in the aerospace industry can be an achievable target, and showing interested youth the path to reach such a career. This includes improving the science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum in middle and high schools, as well as urging interested students to move towards vocational schooling. Beyond that, it can also mean manufacturers may need to provide more incentive for properly qualified workers to move throughout the nation as needed.

At WichiTech, located in Baltimore, Maryland, we are part of the aerospace industry with many of our largest customers being major aerospace companies. Our repair system is integral in keeping planes in the air, and needs knowledgeable and trainable users to operate it. Getting more people interested in careers within the industry helps us, as well as the many other companies across Maryland that rely on the industry for support.

WichiTech Follows the Changing US Wind Power Landscape

When it comes to offshore wind energy, the U.S. has been lagging behind European countries for years. Denmark was the first country to venture into the ocean to produce wind energy back in 1991. Although England has a record number of offshore wind farms and is leading the pack, to date, only 3 percent of wind power comes from offshore wind farms.

While the U.S. has numerous wind farms throughout the states, the first offshore wind farm is going up just off the shores of Rhode Island. The project has been named Block Island Wind Farm and will host five turbines. The turbines should start producing by the end of 2016 and they are expected to deliver enough energy for 350,000 homes in New York and other New England states. Wind energy in the U.S. helps produce needed electricity and cuts down on non-renewable energy, and it provides a host of jobs as well.

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the industry added 23,000 jobs last year and had a record beginning in 2015. Significant growth is expected to increase the number of jobs, as more and more states turn to wind energy. Currently, Texas is leading the industry by employing over 17,000, while Colorado and Iowa come in behind Texas with roughly 6,000 wind energy jobs per state.

In order to continue the growth of the wind energy sector, laws and regulations will need to be addressed. Although the U.S. has finally gotten into wind power, China isn’t far behind and will likely take over in the amount they produce. This takeover could happen as soon as a few years down the road. While there are those in power who prefer to rely on gas and oil, it seems as if wind power has taken on a life of its own and may soon become a major player in the energy sector. With proper regulation and laws, this industry could provide many, much needed, good paying jobs.

Coin Tapping Goes Objective With Wichitech’s Digital Tap Hammer

Wear and tear or distress of construction material needs to be carefully catalogued so that parts can be replaced in time and the integrity of structures maintained. From buildings to airplanes, from concrete to composite alloys, tapping has for long been one of the most popular methods of detecting potential breach of strength.

It is simple to execute, it is affordable and it provides supervisors and engineers with a fair bit of information about hidden weaknesses in the materials being tapped. However the process is subjective to say the least. Operators must gauge the type and the extent of the delimitation simply by the tonal quality of the sound that emanates from the sample when it is repeatedly hit with a hammer. Even though this leaves no visible signs of depredation the frequency of the vibration produced is quite telling.

Ambient conditions, the presence of interference and outside noise can cloud the judgment of the supervisor. This is the reason why sometimes expensive recourses like echo ultrasonics, shearography and thermography have to be used, especially when it comes to judging vulnerabilities in composite materials.

Wichitech Industries Inc. has pioneered a breakthrough in this field that can eliminate the need of relying on the skill-set of the ‘tapper’ for an accurate readout. This is the introduction of objectivity into hammer or coin tapping with the Rapid Damage Detection Device (RD3).


The RD3 is not only light weight and robust, it is also portable. Constructed from the best-in-class components it has a hammer with an accelerometer connected to a liquid crystal display equipped module via a flexible cable.

It proves to be especially useful where detecting delamination is concerned. It supplements the discernment of the tapper with a quantitative numeric read out. Each value corresponds to a pre-defined damage scale and with this kind of standardization, it is easy to entrust the task of probing chinks and signs of stress to operators who aren’t as experienced as their traditional tapping peers.

For any enterprise interested in the maintenance of its composite material structures, this non-destructive probing and examination technique with its new found accuracy is bound to be a boon.

Wichitech Industries Inc. is proud to be the brain behind this offering and looks to changing the face of the NDI industry for the better.

Hot Bonders

As industries rapidly grow in size and mature in terms of the techniques and technological breakthroughs leveraged, there is a growing need of a vigilant and fool-proof repair system to ensure the integrity of complex structures.

It is not enough to detect wear and tear and breakage in time. The adhesives, bonders or resins used to initiate composite and metal bond repairs must be:

  • Sturdy so that they can function properly in extreme climates
  • Portable so that they can be carried into the tightest corners and smallest spaces without any issues
  • Flexible – they should have multiple heat application tips and the ability to connect with other repair units to co-ordinate the temperature of curing for large and sprawling projects

The new-age hot bonders embody all these desirable characteristics. They prove to be invaluable for traditional bonding or repair assignments, secondary bonding processes that generally rely on ovens or autoclaves to proceed without hitches and for research and development projects where prototypes may need to be frequently assembled and dismantled and thus run the risk of compromise.

Bonders epitomize convenience and they have radically transformed the way delicate and precise repair work is conducted for commercial and technical endeavors.


Laying claim to the prestigious epithet of the world’s hottest hot bonders, Wichitech’s line of HB1 and HB2 Composite units are fully manufactured in the US and at as little as 35 pounds they stand for light weight efficiency.

All components of the units are shock mounted in rugged, impact resistant cases that hold themselves well under extenuating circumstances. They come with easy to manipulate settings and a clear display to expedite curing and the exacting task of setting the right temperature for the bonding to be invulnerable.


hotbonderThis fully featured unit is economical to say the least. It packs the punch of larger, more expensive set-ups and comes with multiple thermocouples, a fail-safe mechanism of triggering an alarm if conditions are not conducive to repair work and even a vacuum line and heat blanket to ensure complete lack of moisture and ambient temperature fluctuations which interfere with the sealing process.



One evolutionary step above the H1 units, the HB2 bonders possess all the differentiators that set its predecessor apart with a few key add-ons.

They have two independently programmed heating zones of 20A each to perform cures at different temperatures. A list of pre-programmed options in the menu obviates the need of expertise to use the unit optimally. Compact yet extremely powerful it renders everything from Kevlar to carbon to fiberglass pliant.

Wichitech Industries Inc. lives by the tenets of simplicity, affordability and quality. Its bonders have an impeccable reputation in the market and represent the best of the advancements made in this field.

The Importance of a STEM Education

In the aftermath of one of the greatest economic slowdowns since the Great Depression, it may come to many as a big surprise that there have been and still are many positions available to job-seekers out there. The problem is that these jobs have remained unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates. Many higher-paying positions, which belie the common wisdom of a “jobless recovery”, are indeed awaiting these qualified candidates. But with a decided lack of properly educated workers, the nation’s employers are having a difficult time finding the right people for the job.

The kinds of skills necessary for the new economic landscape are generally acquired via a solid education in what is known as “STEM,” which is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It is a decided lack of competence in these subject areas that is the reason behind many of the vacant jobs in America today. Unfortunately, the prospect of this situation improving over the near term is highly unlikely. Over the next few years (and perhaps longer) we will be faced with a crisis of potentially epic proportions if action on a national level is not undertaken.

Technology is now a given in almost every aspect one’s daily living and the workplace is certainly no exception. Being knowledgeable and competent in the area of STEM knowledge and skills has grown greatly in importance for an unexpectedly wide range of workers and professionals, many of whom, once upon a time, would have barely needed a high school education to be hired.

Properly educating students in STEM subjects prepares them for modern life, no matter the profession to which they aspire. Instruction in STEM helps them to learn how to think critically and to overcome challenges that are often encountered in the modern, high tech workplace.

An example of a company that utilizes such better-educated workers is WichiTech Industries, a leader in the design and manufacture of simple, safe and reliable composite repair systems. With WichiTech’s high quality construction and extraordinary attention to detail, its customers are assured of unmatched performance and value. WichiTech’s composite repair products are found throughout the military and commercial sectors with a loyal and growing customer base ranging from large sophisticated operations to smaller repair shops. For more information on WichiTech and what it can do for you, call or email today.

DoD Extending Its Small Business Mentoring Program

A 10 year extension program was requested by the Defense Department to help improve the socioeconomically disadvantaged small businesses and strive for defense contracts.

According to Robert Stewart in his DoD News interview, this program began in 1991 and is known as the Small Business Mentor- Protege Program. This aims to nurture small businesses and cultivate technology transfer between the industry and the Defense Department.

The program is in existence for almost 25 years, but still considered as pilot. Moreover, it has to be reauthorized every few years under the National Defense Authorization Act. Through the intermittent reauthorization, Stewart said that this leaves an impression that the program is only temporary. Most likely, it has a chilling effect, especially when the reauthorization schedule approaches.

The request for extension program seeks to provide stability, save department money, and reassure industry.

Participating on the program requires small enterprises to become prime contractors through selecting one out of the 50 participating larger companies. The selection process ensures alignment on the strategic goals of the two companies to make it successful.

The mentoring and training of the larger companies to the small business lasts no longer than three years. After that, the larger company receives credit from the small business goals. For instance the mentoring is provided by a small business development center, procurement technical assistance, black university or colleges and they get the credit four times the actual enterprise participation levels.

After the completion of the agreement, the small business graduate gets the title of a DoD contract’s prime contractor.

Stewart also elaborated their goals of focusing on the criteria, evaluation, and factors to boost the DoD enterprise contracting demands to benefit from the Mentor-Protege. This serves as a conduit to reach the goals of subcontracting small businesses.

Developing a defense acquisition regulation will help in accomplishing these goals, Stewart said.