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Go AHeAD for E-Jet health checks

Mary Kirby in Dallas

JetBlue Airways and Republic Airways Holdings are expected to begin testing a new Embraer programme to monitor the health of their E-Jet fleets.

Dubbed AHeAD (aircraft, health analysis and diagnosis), the programme will initially send data via the aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (ACARS) to an operations base for examination.

The programme will evolve into a system that monitors the life of components and structures and become a complete health monitoring system, said the manufacturer’s executive vice-president airline market Frederico Curado at last week’s Regional Airline Association’s 2006 convention in Dallas. Although the latter application “is a few years down the road”, he said that E-190 operator JetBlue and Republic Airways’ subsidiaries flying E-170s will test AHeAD “very, very soon”.

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