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

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

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 (superior customer service, reliability, in-flight comfort and entertainment, more convenient flight times, etc.), price is crucial. Thus, airlines are always looking for ways to keep costs low to pass these savings onto their customers.

One high cost is troubleshooting and repairing systems on aircraft. It can be challenging 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 unexpectedly grounds an aircraft, it can mean severe disruption and expense for the airline.

Today, many aircraft in commercial operation 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 correct sample rate. Many systems that are not critical for safe flight but critical for smooth operations are not monitored helpfully. Problematic systems such as air conditioning and auxiliary power are notorious for failing with little or no warning and are a 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.

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