STEWART PENNEY / LONDON
Aerosystems International (AeI) has been selected by Goodrich to supply its web-based Sapphire asset and maintenance management system as part of the US company's Integrated Mechanical Diagnostic-Health and Usage Management System (IMD-HUMS) for the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter.
Yeovil, UK-based AeI will supply the system for a two-year field test of IMD-HUMS using eight UH-60Ls. IMD-HUMS gathers data from the helicopter's systems during flight which will be downloaded to a Goodrich ground station containing Sapphire for analysis and maintenance action identification.
Richard Wilmot, director advanced systems AeI Inc, says the equipment will provide the US Army with up-to-date inventory information "with maintenance cost reduction a key benefit".
Potentially, the system could be extended across the US Army's 1,200-plus UH-60 fleet, although other products are being considered for the Black Hawk. Sapphire can be provided either off-the-shelf or adapted to meet the customers' requirements, says Wilmot.
Goodrich's selection is the latest success for AeI which is already providing Sapphire to support the US Army's Boeing CH-47 Chinooks at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, and a trial using the system with the Boeing AH-64 Apache is expected to start shortly, says Wilmot. The requirements driving each helicopter type are different, he adds. One part of the CH-47 programme has been to use Sapphire as part of the US Army's changes to Chinook maintenance procedures.
The CH-47 programme is also about to start using AeI's E-Card system, a version of Sapphire hosted on a laptop which is being developed for handheld computers (Flight International, 26 March - 1 April).
Source: Flight International