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Szabo: The right tool for the job

Ben Forrest | May 11, 2021

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 54 seconds.

Having the right tool to perform a specific helicopter maintenance task makes all the difference in the world. It’s not just a nice-to-have luxury item. 

The right tool saves time, reduces maintenance costs and improves the overall efficiency of any maintenance operation. This allows the engineer to complete the specific task with greater efficiency, improving maintenance turnaround time, and ultimately gets the aircraft back into service faster.  

“We’ve seen it time and again,” said Bill Szabo, founder and owner of the custom-tool manufacturer Szabo Aviation International (SAI). 

Since 2003, Szabo and his team have specialized in tooling and ground support equipment (GSE) solutions, producing high-quality, innovative, custom-made tools and GSE for helicopter maintenance and overhaul.

Their products are custom-manufactured for several models of Bell, Airbus, Leonardo and MD helicopters, and for aircraft engine variants by Rolls-Royce, Safran (formerly Turbomeca) and Pratt & Whitney.  

“We’re a customer-driven company that works closely with maintenance professionals to offer a solution that meets their needs,” said Szabo. “Quality, service, workmanship and experience are an integral part of our success.” 

SAI’s primary customers include MRO facilities and rotorcraft operators in the commercial, military, air medical, law enforcement and firefighting sectors. SAI supports clients around the world who rely on its services, including expert fabrication, manual and CNC machining, build-to-print, tool repair and metal finishing capabilities. 

SAI’s products include static balance tooling, maintenance and overhaul tooling, work-aids, maintenance kits, staking tools, slings, fixtures, supports, engine stands, engine shipping containers and ground support equipment. 

“We’ve been providing static balance tooling since the early years of our business,” said Szabo. “Many of our kits are specific to Bell variants, and they provide the user with a cost-effective, accurate and efficient static balance — in minutes. Our kits reduce track and balance time, reduce fuel costs, and cut down on starts, cycles, component wear and labor costs. The end result is something we’re all aiming for: less downtime and improved aircraft availability.”

In addition to its Bell static balance tool kits, SAI also provides tail rotor static balance kits for AW109, AW119 and BK117/BO105 aircraft. The popularity of Airbus AS350/H125 airframes over the last few years has also prompted SAI to significantly expand its tool offerings and inventory to keep pace with demand.

“All of our products conform to critical dimension, fit and function, featuring high-grade alloys and certified materials that are precision-machined to specification,” said Szabo. “It’s what we’re known for, and it’s what we deliver every time.” 

For more information on SAI, visit

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