Lufthansa Technik Forms New Digital Tech Ops Ecosystem

Lufthansa Group is bringing together AMOS, AVIATAR, and flydocs under one unique comprehensive digital tech ops value stream. All the digital solutions remain independent but under one umbrella to jointly fast-track customers’ digitalization Lufthansa Technik says.

Lufthansa Technik is creating a Digital Tech Ops Ecosystem by incorporating Swiss AviationSoftware Ltd. (Swiss-AS) to lead the digital transformation of the aviation industry in technical asset operation. Swiss-AS, the developer of the world-leading M&E/MRO  software AMOS, is joining Lufthansa Technik Group. By bringing together AMOS with AVIATAR, the independent platform for Data & Analytics Solutions, and flydocs, the provider of Digital Records & Asset Solutions, under one roof,

Lufthansa Technik can now offer digital coverage of the tech-ops value stream: These three solutions are the pillars of the Digital Tech Ops Ecosystem that will create additional value for customers using a 
customer-centric and collaborative approach.  

The three entities remain independent but will enhance collaboration and join forces by connecting the dots between the modularly designed solutions. For the first time there will be comprehensive data 
coverage along the entire value stream in technical operations. This data, combined with the digital know-how in all three independent solution providers as well as Lufthansa Technik’s engineering  expertise will result in completely new offerings, accelerated digitalization and added value for customers. As a result, the Ecosystem will reduce MRO costs, enhance process efficiency, increase
operational stability and aircraft availability and also optimize asset values.  

The Ecosystem has five principles that will benefit the customers: it is open to collaborate and link with customers or external digital solutions, modular to make individual use of parts feasible and it is
neutral, meaning, that a customer stays independent of OEMs and MROs. It is also secure, granting customers full control and ownership of their data. Last but not least, the Ecosystem will be seamless to ensure a consistent workflow and data access across solutions.  

“We are happy to welcome our experienced and successful colleagues of Swiss-AS to the Lufthansa Technik Group. It makes us proud that the world’s leading M&E/MRO software AMOS becomes a core part of our strategic focus on digital solutions. From now on, AMOS together with AVIATAR and flydocs form the new Digital Tech Ops Ecosystem. By joining forces we are sending a clear signal that we are dedicated to driving digitalization along the entire tech ops value stream for the benefit of and together with our customers,” says Dr. William Willms, CFO of Lufthansa Technik.  

“We are convinced that AMOS, as a centerpiece of the neutral and independent Digital Tech Ops Ecosystem, can expand its strengths even better together with Lufthansa Technik and its digital Tech Ops solutions. There is great potential for AMOS on its own, but even more so in combination with AVIATAR and flydocs, ” says Dr. Claus Bauer, VP Technical Fleet Management of SWISS, the current 
shareholder of Swiss-AS.  

“While AMOS is the core system in a technical operation’s IT solutions landscape, its unparalleled integration capability is the key to ensure true end-to-end digitalization across the full value chain. Although AMOS is capable of integrating with any other market player, we believe that a tight alignment with the other Tech Ops Ecosystem solutions enables us to digitalize our customers faster using industry data exchange standards,” says Fabiano Faccoli, CEO of Swiss-AS. 

In order to push the Digital Tech Ops Ecosystem, Lufthansa Group has decided to bundle all related activities under one organizational roof. For this purpose Lufthansa Technik has purchased 100% of  Swiss-AS shares from Swiss International Air Lines. Flydocs and AVIATAR are already part of Lufthansa Technik Group. 

Rusada Expands North American Presence with Canada Office

Aviation software specialist Rusada has announced the opening of a new office in Toronto, Canada to support customers and business development in the region.

Their new location will provide access to customers in Canada and the Northeast of the U.S., with Montreal, Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C. all a short flight away.

Having commenced business in 1987, Rusada has since expanded to 8 locations around the globe from which it develops, supports, and sells its airworthiness, maintenance, and flight operations software ENVISION. The new Canadian office adds to their presence in North America, which began with their Colorado office, opened in 2017. Since then, the company has added numerous North American clients to its customer base, and established partnerships with key industry integrators. With their new office Rusada aims to continue this recent run of success and further tap into the region’s market potential.

“We are seeing a great demand for our services in the North American market.” says Julian Stourton, CEO at Rusada. “Already in our five years here we have signed some of the largest contracts in our history from both the fixed and rotary wing markets, as well as a number of maintenance providers.

“We have formed numerous partnerships with some of the leading players over here, which is helping us reach new types of customers, and positively affecting the development of ENVISION. This new office adds to the foundations we established in 2017 and sets us up to continue our growth in the years to come.”

Sensus Aero Helps with Simplifying MRO Organizations’ Contracting and Billing

Clear and concise communication every step of the way is of crucial importance for every MRO business and its customers. Some aspects of such communication are easier to handle, others pose more of a challenge even to the most experienced industry players. According to Romas Butkevicius, CEO at Sensus Aero, a new-gen software solution for the aviation industry, contracting can be one of the most challenging parts of business-customer communication.

Aviation is an extremely precise and safety-focused industry, and the MRO sector is just as, if not more, detail-oriented. “Contracts between MRO services providers and their customers have various conditions, exceptional rules, and specifical agreements. It can become truly difficult to apply all these rules and conditions in real life,” Butkevicius said. “When working on such billing contracts, the main issue is difficult to contract management tools and systems that lack flexibility, and customisation and are complicated to work with. That’s why we put a lot of effort into making sure that the Sensus MRO contract tool is easy to use and offers a lot of flexibility for MRO providers.”

According to Laimonas Antanaitis, product director at Sensus Aero, the tool allows clients to easily customize their contracts by applying rules for various aspects of MRO business. “Sensus MRO software’s billing rules module provides the flexibility to apply contract conditions to their customers. It allows organizations to bill labor per specific skill, work card, task, or routine; bill parts and materials for specific price lists or discounts, ability to apply landing costs and various types of MARKUPS or CAP’s; bill work cards or tasks for fixed prices. The tool also allows to administer tasks or work cards to specific groups which could be managed by the different rules as well as to bill services and charges related with the maintenance costs that come from 3rd party providers.”

The tool allows not only customize billing rules and conditions but also to simplify invoice preparation. “All the information, gathered by the Sensus MRO software, can be prepared for Invoices or intermediate invoices which can be sent directly to customers or specific accounting systems. It also allows users to get the latest billing information in seconds in a fast-changing maintenance environment,” Laimonas adds.

Simplifying and optimizing MRO processes and operations can have a great impact on overall business success thus allowing Sensus MRO software to improve billing and invoicing can be beneficial to both MRO organizations as well as their customers.

Cirium Launches First Phase of Satellite-Based Aircraft Maintenance Tracking

Cirium has revealed the aviation industry’s first satellite-based aircraft maintenance tracking feature in its Ascend Profiles module.

Its new Ground Events feature enables aircraft and engine manufacturers, maintenance, repair and overhaul service providers, parts suppliers, lessors and insurers to monitor and predict future aircraft maintenance events.

It also helps to identify aircraft transitions and define strategies around how and where maintenance and aftermarket budgets are being allocated by operators or owners.

Jeremy Bowen, CEO at Cirium said: “We are innovators and constantly looking to surface new ideas to empower the aviation industry. By tracking each Ground Event of an airline’s aircraft, we can identify whether it was for redesigned cabins, new aircraft branding, a maintenance event, or for its return to service.”

The first phase of the new Ground Events feature captures all instances when aircraft spend over seven days on the ground and identifies the aircraft registration, airport, arrival date and time, departure date and time, ground event duration (in days) and aircraft age. For specific airlines the feature showcases the types of maintenance activity and the provider.

The new feature demonstrates the power of combining Cirium’s unrivaled fleets and advanced satellite-based flight tracking data with the MRO locations and MRO relationships data.

In one example, it shows Air France has been redesigning the cabin interiors of all 15 of their Airbus A330 fleet to match the interiors of their A350 aircraft.

This reflects the carrier’s focus on enhancing the passenger experience and benefitted the airline when air travel started to return post the COVID-19 lockdowns. All 15 A330s were ready to return to service with the new interiors installed in July 2020.

Meanwhile, the feature shows how Lufthansa returned five of their Airbus A340s, which were due for retirement, back into service as the pandemic impacted the deliveries of new aircraft.

It further records how the airline partnered with IAC in Dublin to repaint the A340s in the new Lufthansa livery and regular maintenance checks were conducted by Lufthansa Technik Malta, Lufthansa Technik Philippines, and Joramco.

Given the increased demand during the pandemic for the shipment of PPE and the rise of ecommerce, Cirium’s Ground Events data shows how Federal Express (FedEx) were able to maximize their fleet and leverage strong relationships with their maintenance provider. FedEx ramped up their cargo flights, utilizing young aircraft – around one-to-eight years old – and maintained a consistent two-year maintenance cycle.

The Ground Events feature is part of the Ascend Profiles User Interface (UI) which visualizes aircraft intelligence of airline and lessor profiles and provides quick insights around aircraft types, airport locations, OEMs, MROs and more. It is available as an app and works across desktop, mobile and tablet.

Vistara Becomes First Indian Airline to Introduce E-Tech Logbook

Vistara Becomes First Indian Airline to Introduce E-Tech Logbook

Vistara became the first Indian airline to introduce an e-tech logbook solution and go paperless in its operations in association with ULTRAMAIN ELB.

ULTRAMAIN ELB will fully replace aircraft paper technical log, cabin log, journey log, damage log and fueling log providing a validated electronic Certificate of Release to Service (e-CRS) on flights operated by Vistara.

Currently in the airborne proving stage, the ELB application will be used by Flight Crew, Cabin Crew, and Engineers on iOS devices to provide integrated workflows with Vistara’s maintenance and operational systems. The airline is seeking necessary approvals from relevant authorities before fully integrating this solution across its operations. Once implemented, ULTRAMAIN ELB will enable accurate, real-time global operational visibility of the Vistara fleet resulting in more efficient maintenance, higher dispatch reliability, and increased aircraft utilization.

As Vistara marches on its Digital Transformational journey, the focus on digital data capture, integration and automation will continue. ULTRAMAIN ELB will help digitize our aircraft paper logs and improve operational effectiveness.” said Vinod Bhat, chief information officer, Vistara.

“Vistara remains committed towards constantly improving operational efficiency across processes through automation and we’ve been investing in right technologies to achieve this goal. We are delighted to partner with Ultramain Systems, which will provide the first Electronic Logbook to seek operational approval to operate a fully electronic Technical and Cabin Logbook in India. ULTRAMAIN ELB will be integrated with various live processes like AMOS, ACARS, and ARMS for seamless operations. This application, with its completeness and ease of use, is one step towards building enterprise application integration while also focusing on sustainable operations,” said Sisira Kanta Dash, SVP – engineering & maintenance, Vistara.

“We are pleased to welcome Vistara to the ULTRAMAIN ELB family. As well as our well proven defect management functions. Vistara will be using ELB’s refuel / defuel functions, which enable real time capture of refueling documentation using Ultramain’s e-Signature capabilities. This is another important step towards the automation of Line Maintenance Operations,” said Mark McCausland, president and CEO of Ultramain Systems.

EmpowerMX Launches First MRO Cloud Exchange, EMX Insights, in Partnership with American and Delta Air Lines

EmpowerMX has launched EMX Insights, a cloud-based data exchange platform. This launch comes during a period of growth, driven by the company’s expanding client base, and the launching of several new products that provide data-driven visibility and insights, address the chronic shortage of skilled labor, improve fleet utilization and digitize and automate mission-critical maintenance workflows.

“EMX Insights is designed to bring closer collaboration between airlines and MRO organizations,” said Dinakara Nagalla, CEO of EmpowerMX, “and we are extremely pleased to bring two leading US airlines, American and Delta, as our anchor partners in this initiative.”

Traditionally, internal and external MRO workflow data are predominantly contained in paper-based content assets, leading to huge lag times in data capture, transparency in compliance management, and predicting aircraft availability.

“In our industry, seats are sold months in advance of the actual flight, and our biggest challenge is making sure the aircraft is ready and available for service in our scheduled span time,” said Rick Uber, head of base maintenance at Delta, who also manages a network of third-party MRO providers. “Collecting maintenance data from a diverse range of vendors who service over 40 lines of work is a massive task, and then disseminating it is an even more complicated task. EMX Insights is an industry-first to tackle this data exchange challenge, and Delta is leveraging the cloud-based platform to bring closer and real-time interaction between our own and our third-party MRO operations.”

“We want vendors to receive and transmit data in an open network environment, from whatever platforms they use for their internal workflows,” said Greg Emerson, head of base maintenance at American, who also manages a vast network of third-party MRO vendors. “This enables total visibility for all maintenance activities the airline needs to manage. Beyond that, EMX Insights will optimize the reporting methods to increase visibility, providing leading indicators, and drill down capabilities into each visit.”

“We’re solving a critical problem for the airlines,” said Nagalla. “It’s a long overdue issue that involves a lot of people inputting information into a manual system that just doesn’t do what they need it to do. With no ability to see problems before they impact delivery, they are at the mercy of the process and the system they are currently using, which lacks the quality of information one should expect. Having said that, the process and the systems are being redefined by EmpowerMX in the most meaningful ways, real-time and digitally. Since the majority of their work is being done by facilities using our software for production management, we can tap into those more powerful datasets and automate the information flows – all of this while also including anyone that does not yet use EmpowerMX.”

EmpowerMX announced that EMX Insights is available now on the iOS App Store and will soon be available for other platforms. The product will be free for airlines and MROs.

INVESTMENT IN DRONE INSPECTIONS STARTS TO PAY OFF FOR MRO OPS

INVESTMENT IN DRONE INSPECTIONS STARTS TO PAY OFF FOR MRO OPS

Airlines, original equipment manufacturers, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) organizations are making greater use of drones in inspecting aircraft as they overcome challenges to the deployment of such aircraft in hangars and on airfields.

Drone service providers and their airline and OEM customers say the small, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) give maintenance shops the ability to perform faster, safer inspections — particularly of aircraft crowns. They also provide traceable and objective inspection results that can help resolve questions about an aircraft’s condition and help settle warranty questions.

“Drones are no longer a thing of the future,” said Jan-Christopher Knufinke, Lean innovation manager at Lufthansa Technik, who oversaw a three-year, multi-agency project to assess the applicability of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled drones in base maintenance operations. “They will bring benefits to the MRO industry.”

That prospect is the result of years of broad investigation and initial investment in small UAV inspection capabilities.

Jan-Christopher Knufinke Lufthansa Technik
Jan-Christopher Knufinke
Lufthansa Technik

Starting in 2015, for instance, the U.K.-headquartered, multi-national, low-fare carrier easyJet tapped a variety of service and software providers and academic researchers to help it explore the use of drones equipped with a variety of sensors to inspect its fleet of 200-plus Airbus transports. Early partners included the university collaborative Bristol Robotics Laboratory, drone-services firms Coptercraft and Blue Bear, and software developers Measurement Systems and Output42.

In 2018, Airbus showed off its Advanced Inspection Drone maintenance solution — optimized for checking the upper parts of a fuselage inside hangars — as part of its effort to speed up MRO procedures. Fitted with an integral visual camera, a laser-based obstacle detection sensor, flight planner software, and Airbus’ aircraft inspection software analysis tool, the drone was designed to fly automated paths along an aircraft. Airbus said the system could cut a typical day’s inspection down to three hours by capturing images in 30 minutes and analyzing them in 2.5 hours. The drone was designed to fly autonomously.

easyJet was among the earliest proponents of drone use to improve the accuracy and efficiency of visual inspections. University of the West of England image.
easyJet was among the earliest proponents of drone use to improve the accuracy and efficiency of visual inspections. University of the West of England image.

That same year, American Airlines partnered with DJI to test that Chinese tech company’s Mavic 2 Enterprise drone in aircraft inspection activities. The tests prompted the airline’s then-vice president of operations and industry affairs, Lorne Cass, to call the drone “a tool of the future that should be in every technician’s toolbox.”

Numerous things stand in that tool’s way. Drones flying in hangars must first map and then avoid overhead structures and elements, things that are rarely concerns for maintenance crews on the floor, work stands, or lifts. Legal requirements must be clarified and met. For instance, drones can’t create hazardous work environments for workers below them. They also must fit legally and operationally into an airport’s facilities and airspace. Singapore currently requires inspection drones on an airport to be tethered to a ground power supply. All that said, the challenges wouldn’t seem to outweigh drones’ benefits.

Advocates see drone-based capabilities as offering advantages in a number of areas. These include zone (or general) visual inspections, which can be long, costly, and subjective processes that pose human-factors and other hurdles for inspectors in accurately detecting damage and locating it on a fuselage. They can lead to prolonged email exchanges with OEMs and last-minute job card updates that cause late deliveries or warranty claims from operators and lessors. An automated drone inspection as aircraft enters the hangar may provide detailed, objective reports and precise, repeatable locations of defects in relation to aircraft structure, proponents say. Such precise detail also would support objective comparison of an aircraft status over time.

Another area is dent detection and measurement that follows events like ground support equipment collisions, bird strikes, hail and damage during production. Detecting and measuring surface dents and buckles is time-consuming. It typically is done by hand, and measurements can be unreliable. Automated 3D technology tools like 8tree’s dentCHECK (which that company says is approved by all major aerospace OEMs) offer mechanics/engineers and inspectors faster means of completing this laborious task. They also improve the traceability and reliability of the work. (8tree says its dentCHECK tool has slashed dent-mapping/reporting times by 90 percent, while delivering greater measurement accuracy and supporting answers that are compliant with structural repair manual requirements.)

When lightning strikes an aircraft, the bird must be grounded until inspectors find its entry and exit points. This can take several hours and lead to operational losses. Automated drone inspection of lightning strike impacts with detection and image analysis by software could take less than two hours, proponents say.

Drone inspections also could speed placard checks and improve the objectivity of paint quality evaluation as well as the efficiency of paint claims (which could help avoid adverse fuel burn from dirty airflow).

A drone inspection’s capture of digital images and precise damage location data also will help support reliable, objective records of visual inspections for comparison and speedier analysis of an aircraft’s condition over time, advocates of drone systems say. This would include assessments of how damage has evolved over time.

The time-consuming work of inspecting for dent damage after hailstorms, bird strikes and ground collisions could be sped up significantly by using drone-borne cameras.
The time-consuming work of inspecting for dent damage after hailstorms, bird strikes and ground collisions could be sped up significantly by using drone-borne cameras.

Many outfits are pursuing those and other benefits from greater MRO drone use.

8tree says its dentCHECK tool has slashed dent-mapping/reporting times by 90 percent, while delivering greater measurement accuracy. 8tree image.
8tree says its dentCHECK tool has slashed dent-mapping/reporting times by 90 percent, while delivering greater measurement accuracy. 8tree image.

Korean Air said it is conducting operational trials of a system can cut visual inspection times by 60 percent with “swarm drone” technology it has developed. The technology uses four small drones programmed to photograph four separate zones on a jet. The airline held a demonstration of the swarm technology last December at its Incheon International Airport headquarters west of Seoul. It expects to launch use of the swarm drones this year.

ST Engineering says its in-house DroScan offers up to 40 percent time-savings over traditional visual inspection methods. ST Engineering image.
ST Engineering says its in-house DroScan offers up to 40 percent time-savings over traditional visual inspection methods. ST Engineering image.

The airline developed the 12.1-pound (5.5-kilogram), 3.28-foot (1 meter) wide and high drones in house. By deploying four at once, Korean Air said, it expects to cut the usual visual inspection time of about 10 hours down to about four hours, a 60 percent decrease. This would help to improve on-time flight operations and “and dramatically increase operational stability,” the airline said.

Korean Air said it has developed an operations program that allows the four drones to be programmed to take photos of pre-planned areas. If one fails to operate, the system is configured to automatically complete the mission using the remaining drones.

Equipped with a high-performance camera, each drone can identify objects down to 0.004 inch (0.1 millimeter) in size, the carrier said, allowing for detection of micro defects that cannot be seen from above with the naked eye. Korean Air shares inspection data through the cloud, enabling employees to easily check inspection results anywhere and any time.

The drone system includes a collision avoidance function and geo-fencing to keep each UAV at safe distances from surrounding facilities and prevent break-aways from the mission area, the airline said. Korean Air has revised its procedures to require the presence of safety personnel in addition to pilots and mechanics while the drones are flying. Korean Air said it “will work to improve safety and convenience for workers, stabilize operations, and increase the accuracy of inspections” through continuous trials before officially launching the inspection drones next year.

ST Engineering in Singapore also has developed an in-house drone capability, the DroScan tethered system. The company said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has authorized it to use DroScan within the country’s aerodromes in performing general visual inspections of aircraft during maintenance, provided it is tethered to a power source during operations. DroScan is designed to operate on onboard batteries, the company said. Its systems also include collision avoidance, geo-fencing, and smart analytics capabilities.

Matthieu Claybrough  Donecle
Matthieu Claybrough
Donecle

The drone is paired with a ground control station to automate inspections by flying along pre-planned routes to capture high-definition images. Items picked up by DroScan’s defect-detection algorithm are displayed on the ground control station and an operator can zoom in to certain areas or enhance the images to examine suspected defects. The operator also can manually annotate defects before inputting them into the database.

Donecle’s drone system, paired with 8tree’s dentCHECK software, completed an automatic, dent inspection of an entire Dassault Rafale fighter within one hour, according to the companies. Donecle image.
Donecle’s drone system, paired with 8tree’s dentCHECK software, completed an automatic, dent inspection of an entire Dassault Rafale fighter within one hour, according to the companies. Donecle image.

ST Engineering tested DroScan (which it said offers up to 40 percent time-savings over traditional visual inspection methods) with Air New Zealand and other airline customers. The company said it is in discussions with some customers to refine DroScan’s MRO workflow and conduct operational trials for their fleets.

Michiel van der Eijk  Regional Jet Center
Michiel van der Eijk
Regional Jet Center

Several airlines, third-party MROs, aircraft OEMs, and military operators have enlisted the drone services provider Donecle to improve the efficiency and accuracy of aircraft inspections. Founded in 2015, Toulouse, France-headquartered Donecle has become a world leader in the drone-based automated aircraft visual inspection business. Last April, it expanded its robotic inspections portfolio when it acquired the French autonomous mapping company Dronétix. That company specializes in automatically capturing data and doing 3D reconstruction of small assets (such as aircraft engines or landing gear). Dronétix customers include Safran, which regularly uses a drone for aircraft engine inspections at its Villaroche facility outside Paris.

“Combining the assets and know-how of both companies will strengthen our offer and boost the development of future capabilities,” Donecle CEO Matthieu Claybrough, “Our goal remains unchanged: to offer our customers cost-saving solutions while improving traceability and safety.” He said Dronétix systems will be upgraded with Donecle’s leading imaging technology and cloud connectivity, and the image datasets and AI technologies of both companies will be merged to further increase their performance. “This is an important milestone in Donecle’s growth.”

Dronétix founder and ex-CEO Franck Levy, said, “Donecle is the perfect match to further develop and commercialize our technology. We look forward to seeing the industry further adopt robotic inspection.”

Donecle’s drone inspection tools are being used by such airlines and MROs as AAR, Austrian Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and LATAM Airlines Group in South America. Last year, Airbus qualified Donecle’s technology for use in lightning inspections on A320-family aircraft. In April, LOTAMS (the MRO offshoot of LOT Polish Airlines) signed a multi-year deal for Donecle to help it optimize visual inspections. Donecle will support exhaustive inspections at LOTAMS of Boeing 737NGs and 737MAXs, as well as Embraer 170s, 190s, and 195s. That MRO also will participate in the development and validation of drone capabilities on Boeing 767s and Boeing 787s as Donecle rolls out new wide-body and outdoor inspection capabilities.

On the military front, Donecle said that it completed an automatic, drone-based dent inspection of an entire Dassault Rafale fighter within one hour as part of an 18-month collaborative project with that manufacturer, the French Defence Innovation Agency, and 8tree (which makes 3D optical surface inspection tools) to improve aircraft maintenance and operational condition. 8tree has been collaborating with Donecle and other leading UAV companies on automated flying versions of its 3D tools. The Donecle drone, which used 8tree’s dentCHECK dent-mapping technology, achieved an accuracy of 0.004 inch (0.1 millimeter) depth and 0.079 inch (2 millimeter) width in the Rafale inspection, Donecle said.

The collaborative project had three main objectives, the company said. Demonstrate that the drone can inspect an entire aircraft body quickly and easily, providing time savings. Show that the system’s 3D structured light scanner provides consistent results in all conditions. Prove that the 3D scanner and associated software can identify and measure damage such as dents, impacts, and misalignments.

As part of the project, Donecle said, it has improved its drone automatic navigation with advanced stability algorithms and novel management of the onboard 3D sensor to address a workspace with dynamic lighting conditions and various surface colors and types. It also used a 3D digital twin of the Rafale to map dents, using global reconstruction algorithms “to perform an automated diagnosis leading to instantly actionable results.” All acquired information (such as scans, localization information, and dent measurement results) were saved in a digital database, which “will help tracking the structure evolution in time to improve the aircraft availability and safety,” the company said.

Late last year, Donecle signed a customer agreement with Regional Jet Center, the Amsterdam-based Embraer MRO specialist, to deploy its automated drone inspections on Embraer aircraft for the first time. “We have been looking into drone inspections for the past couple of years as we believe they have the potential to accelerate inspections and improve overall traceability,” said Regional Jet Center Managing Director Michiel van der Eijk. “We were impressed by Donecle’s drone system capabilities. We are looking forwards to this partnership.”

Bluetail Introduces MACH Conformity Which Will Dramatically Reduce the Time Required to Conform PART 135 CHARTER Aircraft

Bluetail, (NBAA Booth #2421), the aircraft records platform for business aviation, has announced that it has completed developing MACH Conformity, the newest module within the Bluetail software portfolio, which will help reduce the time it takes to perform conformity inspections by up to 50%.

“The recent unprecedented growth of the Part 135 on-demand charter market has put pressure on operators to onboard additional aircraft onto their certificates faster and more efficiently than ever before,” stated Stuart Illian, COO of Bluetail. “Just doing all the paper records search and conformity steps required by the FAA can add weeks to the process and cost the operator tens of thousands in lost revenue.”

“Bluetail is building an impressive customer list of charter operators, and they rely on our industry-leading software innovation team to create a way for them to handle all of their conformity requirements more efficiently and effectively,” continued Illian. “The result is MACH Conformity, purchased as a software subscription, which includes new features such as task management, an FAA binder builder, manage AD and SB lists, deep search, with the ability to digitally paper clip any FAA forms to other documents, and export the resulting binder for sharing with the appropriate FSDO.”

About MACH Conformity:

Based on Bluetail’s industry-leading secure and scalable software platform and MACH Search capability, MACH Conformity delivers a host of timesaving and revenue recapture features, including:

• Easy-to-use conformity binder builder needed for the applicable FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).

• Digital paper clip-related lead documents, including Form 337s with supporting 8130-3 forms, into single units of work.

• Upload Airworthiness Directives (ADs), as well as Chapters 4 and 5 requirements, and link supporting documents to the appropriate AD and OEM requirements.

• Track the status of each binder chapter through a color-coding task manager.

• Easily save the final conformity binder for future use and export the documents into a standard format for the FSDO’s review.

“The MACH Conformity Module has been created to fill a particular need,” stated Greg Baynham, Bluetail’s VP of Applications and Delivery. “And its development would not have been possible without the cooperation of our development design partners Solairus Aviation, Wheels Up, Jet It, Wing Aviation, and Mach Point Aviation. We are extremely grateful for all the industry knowledge our respected partners so generously shared with our development team.”

“These leading operators and management companies were able to confirm that our new MACH Conformity Module would help reduce their conformity processes by up to five days,” Baynham said. “According to the data supplied by the various participants, that time savings alone would translate to tens of thousands of dollars in added revenue per each newly-conformed aircraft.”

SkyThread Launches Aircraft Parts Track & Trace Solution

SkyThread has introduced SkyThread for Parts, a blockchain SaaS solution that captures and tracks all aircraft part events, both on and off aircraft, from manufacturing through decommission.

Key launch customers include international airlines, airline owned and independent MROs, as well as tier-1 OEMs and their component repair stations.

“SkyThread for Parts utilizes the SkyThread Blockchain Data Network, which enables seamless data sharing between stakeholders in complex ecosystems with consensus-driven data governance and automated data validation,” said Mark Roboff, SkyThread’s co-founder and CEO.

SkyThread for Parts dismantles the trust barriers that have inhibited efficient data sharing between commercial aviation stakeholders.

“SkyThread does not replace the legacy IT systems used by airlines, MROs, and OEMs, but rather runs in cooperation with them,” Roboff said.

“SkyThread for Parts resolves the inefficiencies, waste, and delays that plague commercial aviation due in large part to the challenges of manually sharing part history data between siloed systems,” Roboff continued. “Furthermore, SkyThread for Parts enables the industry to transform reliability analysis, moving to the tracking of actual cycles and hours for all serialized parts.”

SkyThread for Parts unlocks substantial efficiencies and cash flow benefits for all aviation stakeholders by providing critical visibility into the aviation supply chain via SkyThread’s unified source of truth.

U.S. Trade Envoy Bringing High-Tech Tools to India

CAD / CAM Services – an industry leading computer-aided design (CAD) and engineering firm with expertise in 3D scanning, modeling, and conversions – has been selected to take part in the U.S. envoy headed to India in an attempt to lend expertise to the rapidly growing civil aviation market in South Asia.

CAD / CAM Services, who is currently partnering with Lockheed Martin on a drone and robotic-based metrology system for the F-35 lightening, was selected as the only CAD company to accompany the group on the trade mission.

India is currently the third largest global market for civil aviation measured by passenger numbers, trailing only China and the United States. Over the next decade, Boeing is predicting the country’s aviation industry will require an additional 2,500 passenger aircraft and by 2035, it is expected that the industry will support 19.1 million jobs and contribute $172 billion to the country’s GDP. However, in order to meet those forecasts, the country is in urgent need of assistance from a number of industries, especially those in high-tech.

The envoy will depart in mid-September for the 5-day mission which will include: briefings with the Indian government’s Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA); site visits to MROs, airports, etc.; and one-on-one meetings with potential partners.

As one of the few CAD engineering firms in the world certified for high precision conversions by both the aerospace industry and the Department of Defense, CAD / CAM routinely offers in-depth inspection programs designed to provide OEMs with extremely accurate CAD files. This ensures that all CAD drawings and models match the original specifications and are capable of producing parts and assemblies that meet all design requirements.

CAD / CAM Services is well-known for its CAD Perfect conversions, and its engineers are capable of converting any CAD format file into any other CAD system. Its highly experienced CAD engineers can also make the model (or drawing) compliant with any internal aerospace standard.

With its 3D scanning and reverse engineering expertise, CAD / CAM Services is capable of creating replacement parts for both new and older aircraft to further assist aerospace suppliers. CAD / CAM models include full assemblies that are accurate to ±.002” over any X, Y, & Z axis.

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