Fleet Readiness Center East (FRC-East) Partnership

FRC East Cherry Point:
Vertical Lift Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Partnership Opportunity

The FRC East Cherry Point and UNC General Administration are seeking partners for a Vertical Lift Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) Partnership. The purpose of this announcement is to identify parties within the University of North Carolina's 16 constituent universities who are interested in pursuing a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional, 
statewide partnership to:

  1. Exchange information about technical requirements for MRO of vertical lift aircraft;
  2. Foster university and FRC East collaborations that apply university expertise to needed solutions;
  3. Accelerate demonstration and commercialization of technological solutions in MRO;
  4. Demonstrate a viable model for connecting university expertise to industrial and community needs in North Carolina.


As a service provider specializing in support of Marine Corps aircraft, engines, and  components, FRC East is the only source of repair within the continental United States for many jet engines and rotary wing engines, as well as turbofan vectored thrust engines.  FRC East is critical to the state's economy, employing almost 4,000 individuals in Eastern NC.  The Vertical Lift Center of Excellence (VLCOE) at FRC East Cherry Point regularly seeks new and improved technologies to further its mission objectives.  Current interest areas include:

  1. Cleaning - replacement of toxic chemical cleaning processes; thermo-ionic cleaning; non-CFC or non-HCFC cleaners.
  2. Data Collection/Management - logistics supply chain management; computer-aided design capabilities; wireless technologies and tracking.
  3. Nondestructive Inspection - corrosion detection; computed tomography scanners; large area inspection techniques: heat damage to composite substrates.
  4. Stripping/Coating Removal - methods that eliminate or reduce use of toxic chemical paint strippers, dry media blasting, and hand sanding.
  5. Composite Repair Technologies - methods to improve composite repair and manufacture for current materials (primarily thermoset graphite epoxy material) and composite materials new to FRC East.
  6. Coating/Plating Technologies - any process to apply coatings to the surface of a substrate for corrosion and wear protection or appearance.
  7. Direct Digital Manufacturing - processes and means to qualify strength, fatigue, and other design data of intermediate parts produced from 3-D rapid prototyping.
  8. Surface Finishing - improvements to existing techniques or new techniques in finishing and burnishing.
  9. Analysis - assessments that lead to reduction in equipment vibration, determination of health of plant equipment.
  10. Utilities Conservation - assessments and concepts regarding conservation of all utilities used to operate the depot - electricity, water, steam, propane and other fossil fuel alternatives and other efforts to reduce the impact footprint of the production facilities.
  11. Vibration - Improved sensors, algorithms, and data management for vibration analysis.

Interested parties are encouraged to visit the following link for additional details on current technologies in use and new technologies of interest in each area:

To Indicate Interest

We invite interested faculty and researchers, programs, centers/institutes, or other entities within UNC to participate in a research, education and service partnership with FRC East through their existing Memorandum of Agreement with UNC General Administration.  Please reply in an email to Courtney Thornton by January 11, 2010, if you are interested in pursuing participation in this partnership. In your response, please provide the following information:

  1. Name, address, phone and email (for individuals) OR Name, address, phone, and email address of contact person for programs, interdisciplinary projects,centers/institutes, or other units.
  2. Evidence of expertise and capabilities in one or more of the aforementioned interest areas.

Next Steps

In January, letters of interest will be reviewed and prioritized based on capabilities and potential intellectual contributions to a robust and effective MRO partnership.  In February 2010, FRC East Cherry Point and UNC General Administration plan to convene the first of a series of meetings of these respondents.  The objective of the February 2010 meeting will be to refine the vision, objectives, and next steps for the Partnership.

Technical Contact

Courtney Thornton
Research Director, UNC General Administration