Case Studies

Rotorcraft Fleet Logistics Optimization

May 30, 2016

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An operator of a diverse fleet of rotorcraft required a sensing solution that could give the accurate data they needed to reliably perform various missions. Such information is typically acquired from air data computers (ADC) and is critical to the effective and safe operation of all aircraft.

However, rotorcraft air data systems face some additional challenges because of how rotors push air past the body of the craft at low speeds – an effect known as rotor downwash. Without compensating for resultant air pressure variations, the air data can be unreliable. One solution is to use mechanical dampening which filters the pneumatic noise in air pressure to offset these effects. While this approach is proven, it adds weight, takes space and increases the maintenance burden on the operator.

A challenge the operator faced was it had several platform variations. Different platform types, or some variants of a single platform, will need air data computers with different source error correction settings. This is because the positioning of the pneumatic ports will affect the relationship between air pressure and speed. This approach would create an increased maintenance burden as each variation would require separate spares, documentation and training.

Results

The operator’s rotorcraft were equipped with high accuracy air data information available that compensated for downwash. This enabled pilots to have better information at low speed, creating a safer operating environment – particularly at take-off and landing.

The commonality of product part numbers reduced the inventory needs across a fleet of six different aircraft. This lowered logistics overheads and saves money by reducing the number of spare units that must be purchased, stored and managed.

The elimination of mechanical dampening systems allowed the operator to simplify installation, reduce the number of components required, the training needs and lower documentation overhead.

Download the full case study here to learn more about the solution.

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