NEW DELHI: In just over one year, Airbus Helicopters has nearly doubled the number of helicopters now sharing flight and maintenance data with the company.
This progress advances Airbus’ creation of a connected helicopters ecosystem in which data from disparate sources is shared and analysed, helping operators make sense of their data for business value.
“Collection of such valuable data is made possible thanks to our strategy of building digital solutions, such as HUMS, digital log cards and digital logbooks, which enable customers to digitize their operations. Once our operators are connected to Airbus systems, we can then begin sharing data, applying analytics, and generating data-driven recommendations that reduce the maintenance burden, control costs, enhance safety and increase availability,” said Christoph Zammert, Executive Vice President of Customer Support & Services at Airbus Helicopters.
An increasing number of customers are seeing this value, with Hungarian Air Ambulance being the latest addition, opting to digitize its operation using an extensive set of Airbus digital solutions and analytics. The emergency-medical-services operator also becomes the first customer for Flight Analyser analytics, which supports operational safety by analyzing aircraft and flight data post-flight to identify risks before they lead to incidents or accidents.
Helicopter maintenance data is another crucial data type essential for analytics, which is why Airbus has initiated agreements with maintenance information system (MIS) providers allowing their MIS databases to be connected with Airbus systems. Such agreements enable real-time maintenance data collection. At Heli-Expo 2020, four more MIS providers – ADMS, IXARYS, 2MoRO and 135ACM – signed agreements with Airbus Helicopters, joining MRX Systems, Rusada, Ramco, Traxxall, Lundin Software and Aircraft Maintenance Systems, who signed last year.
One analytics service already bearing fruit is Flyscan predictive maintenance. Since its launch in 2017, Flyscan is today analyzing the HUMS data of around 100 helicopters. On average, these operators report receiving an average of six maintenance recommendations per aircraft per year, enabling them to avoid two AOG situations per year – a number Airbus expects to rise with time. For some operators, this can represent a savings of 35,000 euro per day of AOG avoided.
Moreover, the predictive domain of Flyscan has recently expanded to include additional data types beyond vibrations (dynamic components health monitoring), such as usage data, flight parameters (from flight data recorders), and avionics codes.
Finally, Airbus has added a new modular compliance monitoring system to its portfolio. Known as Flightastic, this digital platform offers a pilot logbook, qualifications management, flight activity management and compliance monitoring all in one. It will be available for demo at the show.