Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC
A system for automatically reporting aircraft usage and maintenance data has been unveiled to Bombardier Dash 8 operators.
Two Dash 8 operators, one in Europe and one in North America, will begin testing AeroMechanical Services' (AMS) Automated Flight Information Reporting System (AFIRS) in the first quarter of next year. Calgary, Alberta-based AMS says the system will be available for Bombardier regional aircraft, including CRJs, early in the second quarter. Installation on BAE Systems, Embraer and Fairchild Dornier aircraft will follow.
The system monitors information on the aircraft's databus during flight and, after landing, reports this via e-mail using satellite or cellular communications. A trial underway on an Alberta Government Dash 8 is using the Orbcomm low-earth-orbit satellite network, says AMS president Daryl Jacobs.
Leasing companies are interested in AFIRS, says Jacobs, as it provides near real-time data on aircraft usage. The system also benefits manufacturers providing support on a per-flight-hour basis, he adds. Customers will be able to buy the AFIRS equipment or subscribe to the AMS's data delivery services.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's China Airlines is to test JenaNet.Com's internet-based turbine engine management and diagnostic software. The system allows operators to download engine data daily to JenaNet's Fort Worth,Texas, server where it is compared with known problem "signatures" to generate maintenance alerts. These are e-mailed to the operator.
American Airlines already uses the service, which is being evaluated by Lufthansa and Swissair. The data can be downloaded in flight via ACARS airline datalink through an exclusive agreement between JenaNet and ARINC.o
Source: Flight International