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NBAA: Gulfstream to lead prognostics push with G650

Aircraft on ground (AOG) delays could be a thing of the past for Gulfstream G650 operators participating in a new health management system offered by GE Aviation. Gulfstream has signed two contracts with GE, one to install the onboard components of an integrated vehicle health monitoring (IVHM) system on production G650s and another to operate the optional service called PlaneConnectHTM (health and trend monitoring). Gulfstream is targeting 2012 for entry into service (EIS) of the high-speed ultra long-range business jet.

The IVHM collects and analyzes a wide variety of real-time data from various aircraft systems and downlinks data to a ground services network. The web-based system provides information to Gulfstream and the operator.

The larger benefit of system will come with GE's prognostic programs, which will spot maintenance issues in advance of a failure, allowing for work to be performed when it is convenient.

Norm Baker, GE Aviation director of vehicle health products and services, said data provided by an unidentified operator showed that prognostics software was able to catch a pending value failure in time to have prevented two AOGs for a particular aircraft. In one case, maintainers serviced the AOG aircraft but did not determine that the valve was failing. A second AOG occurred three days later when the valve actually failed.

"We applied our system to this problem and showed that [the faulty valve] would have shown up 16 days before the [AOG] issue occurred," said Baker.

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