White Papers

The Wright Data: Enhancing Aircraft System Monitoring and Reducing Unscheduled Maintenance

January 31, 2020 | BY: Michael Doherty, Stephen Willis

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Commercial air travel is a highly competitive business with potential customers having a slew of price comparison websites to quickly and easily find the best prices for a particular journey. While different airlines have other benefits to offer (superior customer service, reliability, in flight comfort and entertainment, more convenient flight times etc.), price is a key consideration. Thus airlines are always looking for ways to keep costs low so they can pass these savings onto their customers.

One high cost is troubleshooting and repairing systems on aircraft. It can be difficult for maintenance personnel to identify what part of a system is faulty and it can take a long time to remove, test, and reinstall parts of a system until the culprit is found. Worse, if a failure occurs that unexpectedly grounds an aircraft, it can mean severe disruption and expense for the airline.

Many aircraft in commercial operation today do not provide sufficient data to support predictive maintenance or optimize maintenance operations. Despite living in an era of the “data rich” modern aircraft, even these don’t collect all the necessary parameters at the right sample rate. Many systems that are not critical for safe flight, but critical for smooth operations, are not monitored in any useful way. Problematic systems such as air conditioning and auxiliary power are notorious for failing with little or no warning, and are prime target for predictive maintenance systems.

This white paper discusses the problem of inefficient maintenance, lack of access to the right data, and how aircraft can be retrofitted with instrumentation to more quickly identify impending failures, rapidly repair them, and minimize aircraft downtime and maintenance time.

Download the white paper and read about:

  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Big data
  • Data acquisition systems

Author’s Biography

Michael Doherty

Business Development Manager

Michael Doherty has 19 years’ experience in Flight Test Instrumentation (FTI) for Bombardier Shorts, Belfast. For 12 of these years, Michael was the manager of the FTI group. Michael also has a lot of experience of aircraft systems, structural and ground vibration testing. He has a BSc in Electronics and an MSc in Engineering Management. Michael joined Curtiss-Wright in 2006 and currently holds the role of Business Development Manager. Previously, Michael was a Program Manager for, and managed, many of the key customer programs run from the Dublin office.

Author’s Biography

Stephen Willis

Marketing Portfolio Manager

Stephen Willis works for Curtiss-Wright in the role of Marketing Portfolio Manager. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering, a Masters in Philosophy for research in mathematical models and their market application for risk assessment and a PG Dip in marketing and management. His current research interests include data acquisition, recording and control systems and their applications in enabling a cost effective route to gathering large amounts of data. In particular, applications of interest include flight test, crash protected recording and structural/ usage monitoring programs. He is the author of several of academic papers and magazine articles.

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