KLM Cityhopper plans to expand its predictive maintenance capabilities using a mixed dataset drawn from aircraft, third-party suppliers and manufacturers to identify part failures before they happen.

Vice-president of technical services and fleet development Hans Werner says the strategy will be made possible by the regional carrier's move to an all-Embraer fleet. Cityhopper is phasing out eight in-service Fokker 70s and establishing a fleet of 50 Embraer 175/190s.

As it deepens its use of predictive maintenance, Werner expects the carrier to require just one of its 50 aircraft to be kept in reserve as a spare to cover any technical problems.

Werner says Cityhopper will need to work collaboratively on its data analysis: "You cannot do it yourself. [We] don't have knowledge, it's very expensive, and part of it [the data] is already available."

He adds: "But also [there are] a lot of areas even where you can further develop data analysis and preventative maintenance."

One example he gives is the carrier's work to derive more data from auxiliary power units. He says APUs currently have "a very limited number of sensors, measuring only a limited number of KPIs. We would like to extend that number so we would be able to predict [when] an APU has to be replaced before it gets broken."

He expects that Embraer will be able to use predictive data analysis to provide ever more maintenance of its own aircraft.

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Source: FlightGlobal.com