Ian Sheppard/LONDON

General Electric and Harris have formed a joint venture to develop remote data monitoring for engines, following a successful two-year pilot project involving Canada 3000 aircraft.

GE Harris Aviation Information Solutions, based in Melbourne, Florida, is to produce and market information network products and decision support services to enable airlines to transmit and receive aircraft and engine data.

GE's new remote engine diagnostics technology, now in early service with launch customer Canada 3000 on six Airbus A320s and two A330s, already allows engine diagnostic data transmission to and from aircraft in flight.

Al Pidgeon, the airline's vice-president engineering and maintenance, says the system is "very useful", giving warnings within 7min of any occurrence. This allows necessary parts and personnel to be dispatched to the next station up to 3h earlier, says Pidgeon.

In addition, Canada 3000 has been making use of the trend monitoring capability, with parameters being relayed from the aircraft's full authority engine control (FADEC) system. Communication is via the addressing, communications and reporting system (ACARS), VHF for A320s and VHF/Satcom for the A330s, says Pidgeon.

Pidgeon says "-it has proven itself as a management tool". He claims another result has been the reduction of maintenance staff by 5%. GE says the venture is part of plans to participate in technical support of all aircraft systems, not just engines.

Source: Flight International