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 digitise 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,” explains executive vice president of customer support and services Christoph Zammert.
Hungarian Air Ambulance is the latest company to digitise its operation, and also becomes the first customer for Flight Analyser analytics, which supports operational safety by analysing 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, so Airbus has initiated agreements with maintenance information system (MIS) providers allowing their MIS databases to be connected with Airbus systems, enabling real-time maintenance data collection. ADMS, IXARYS, 2MoRO and 135ACM have all signed up, 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 analysing 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 that Airbus expects to rise with time. For some operators, this can represent a saving of 35,000 euros 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.