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July 2017

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Airbus has launched a new aviation data platform in collaboration with Palantir Technologies – pioneers in big-data integration and advanced analytics. Skywise aims to become the single platform of reference used by all major aviation players to improve their operational performance and business results and to support their own digital transformation. Skywise is already improving industrial operations performance throughout Airbus’ industrial footprint and will not allow delivery of enhanced aircraft and equipment designs, better service and support offerings based on deeper in-service data insights.


Skywise will provide all users with a single access point to their enriched data by bringing together aviation data from multiple sources across the industry into one secure cloud-based platform. These airline sources include: work orders; spares consumption; components data; aircraft / fleet configuration; on-board sensor data; and flight schedules. Additional data sources which are traditionally shared with Airbus and hosted only on isolated servers will also be integrated into the platform to help operators conduct their own analyses and make decisions based on the full scope of their available data. These shared sources include: operational interruption history; parts replacements; post-flight reports; pilot reports; aircraft condition monitoring reports; complete on-board aircraft data; technical documentation; technical requests; and Service Bulletins.


Examples of how Skywise could help airlines to support and shape their business models include:

• Improved fleet operational reliability through predictive & preventative maintenance

• Improved operational efficiency for legacy fleets

• Rapid root-cause analyses of in-service issues

• Optimising each aircraft’s performance through flight operations data analytics

• Tracking maintenance effectiveness over time

• One-click reporting workflows, including complex reporting to regulatory bodies.


With Skywise, operators of Airbus aircraft will be in a position to leverage the cumulative knowledge of the 20,000 Airbus engineers who have tracked the performance of each individual aircraft over its entire operational life.

Until now, this deep reservoir of expertise was accessible only during the years of development and flight tests through the aircraft Entry-into-Service.


Moreover, by integrating their operational, maintenance, and aircraft data into a secure and open platform, airlines will be able to store, access, manage, and analyse selected Airbus data together with their own data and global benchmark data, without the need for additional infrastructure investments. This resulting value will soon give Airbus’ customers new insights at aircraft, fleet, company, and global level.


The deliverables will be tailored for each user and will include scalable services (such as analytics, apps and APIs) which can be used by Airbus, customers, and suppliers – ensuring complete data continuity with benefits across the entire value chain.


The technology powering the data platform is designed to interoperate seamlessly with customers’ existing IT infrastructures and to deliver capabilities beyond what is possible with standard ‘open source’ software.

At its core, Skywise helps better manage complex data environments with many interdependencies so that users can unlock data in service of business outcomes.


Today, several major airlines are already early Skywise adopters. Examples of the projects undertaken with these airlines include: events tracking and resolution; turnaround-time analysis; operations analytics; predictive maintenance; reliability analysis and benchmarking; maintenance decision support. Moreover, in the near future, the benefits of Skywise will become available for Airbus helicopters, military aircraft, and other products operators. The initial offer will cover the core digital aviation platform, a new aircraft connectivity solution, and selected platform applications and integrated dashboards (including tools for predictive maintenance and fleet reliability deployed with Skywise’s early adopter airlines).


One of those airlines is easyJet, which has been working with Airbus for two years to identify the airline’s top 100 technical issues. This has resulted in a bespoke platform for easyJet which can help to predict technical issues by allowing engineers to intervene early and replace parts during routine maintenance before the component causes any issues, thereby preventing delays. Since October, easyJet has been trialling the platform on 85 aircraft in its fleet, with a focus on three specific technical issues, which has resulted in the removal of 14 components before an issue could have occurred. This has meant more than 2,000 passenger journeys have operated on schedule that would otherwise have been disrupted – potentially incurring overnight delays.


As part of the programme, Airbus has selected Rockwell Collins for the Flight Operations and Maintenance Exchanger (FOMAX) programme on the Airbus A320 family of aircraft. FOMAX is a compact connectivity unit which collects aircraft maintenance and performance data and automatically sends it to ground-based operations and also to mobile applications used by flight crews. The unit also sends data automatically into efficiency applications such as weather, flight planning, logbooks, maintenance prediction and performance calculators, all of which bring improved new levels of productivity and value to airline operations. Its implementation represents Rockwell Collins’ first major basic content on the A320.


The FOMAX solution builds upon the existing Rockwell Collins SSR-7000 Secure Server Router to also provide the wifi network for secure crew connectivity on the aircraft as well as the cellular and terminal wifi equipment. It also interfaces with all major SATCOM connectivity types. 




Boeing has launched Boeing AnalytX, bringing together existing analytics services and products across Boeing’s commercial, defence and services businesses, its research and information technology capabilities and its family of companies. As part of the launch, Boeing announced five agreements to provide customers with solutions powered by Boeing AnalytX:


  • AirBridgeCargo signed an agreement to deploy Fuel Dashboard services across its entire fleet. Fuel Dashboard helps airlines reduce fuel consumption with total savings opportunities averaging over 4%. The tool is currently used on more than 1,500 aircraft around the globe
  • China Airlines renewed a contract to provide Airplane Health Management’s analytics-based predictive alerts on its fleet of 737NG and 747 freighters
  • Delta Air Lines signed a contract to use AHM on its Boeing 717 fleet. This agreement expands Delta’s use of AHM’s analytics-based predictive alerts to encompass Boeing airplanes across its 737, 747, 767 and 777 fleets
  • Korean Air signed an agreement with Boeing to provide AHM on its 787 and 777 fleets. Korean uses AHM’s predictive analytics alerts to reduce delays and cancellations by scheduling maintenance in a controlled manner, avoiding schedule disruptions. 

GECAS and GE Aviation Digital Solutions have announced a collaborative effort on electronic records exchange standards for the Aviation leasing market. This follows the recent acquisition of AirVault by GE Aviation Digital, which offers an opportunity to further develop electronic aircraft records gathering, management and exchange. With planned enhancements, the product will provide new applications to airline operations while additionally serving the needs of aviation leasing companies. GECAS is supporting the product development and will utilise the enhanced features as AirVault expands its capability in electronic record management for movements between operators of both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.


The ability to connect records and data across aviation companies and the IT systems they use to manage their fleets will drive productivity and data availability. Underpinned by GE’s Predix platform for the Industrial Internet, this further strengthens the team in developing meaningful insights and optimising operations over a wide range of aviation applications.  


GE acquired Critical Technologies, branded as AirVault, a privately-owned supplier of cloud-based digital records management in March this year. AirVault’s expertise to digitally manage mission-critical records across an industrial supply chain network strengthens GE’s ability to focus on asset lifecycle management and maintenance optimisation for the aviation industry.


Honeywell and Cathay Pacific have signed a contract to deploy Honeywell’s Connected Aircraft maintenance offering on APUs across more than 60 Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon Airbus A330s. Honeywell’s GoDirect Connected Maintenance program combines the aircraft’s connectivity, in-depth product knowledge and data analytics to predict when mechanical parts need to be fixed or replaced. The service demonstrated during a trial program with Cathay Pacific that it can reduce inoperative systems by up to 35%, which directly reduces costly and disruptive maintenance and aircraft downtime, lowering flight cancellations and the impact of delays. Cathay Pacific is also considering an extension to the airline’s fleet of Boeing 777s.


In addition to connected maintenance for APUs, Honeywell is looking to expand the service to other parts of the aircraft, including wheels, brakes and environmental control systems.



Kellstrom Aerospace Group has acquired Vortex Aviation, a specialist in worldwide AOG on-wing engine maintenance services and quick-turn engine repairs across all major commercial aircraft engine platforms. With repair facilities located in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Shannon, Ireland, and Singapore, Vortex Aviation provides global support and turnkey solutions for many of the world´s aircraft lessors and airlines.


Rockwell Collins has been selected by Airbus for the flight operations and maintenance exchanger (FOMAX) program on the Airbus A320 Family of aircraft. The solution, which keeps operators connected to their aircraft by deploying the infrastructure for secure wireless connectivity, represents Rockwell Collins’ first major basic content on the A320.


Rockwell Collins’ solution for FOMAX features a compact connectivity unit that collects aircraft maintenance and performance data and automatically sends it to ground-based operations. The unit also sends data automatically to the growing number of mobile applications that are being used by flight crews, as well as into efficiency applications such as weather, flight planning, logbooks, and maintenance prediction and performance calculators, all of which bring new levels of productivity and value to airline operations. The FOMAX solution builds upon the existing Rockwell Collins SSR-7000 Secure Server Router to also provide the wifi network for secure crew connectivity on the aircraft as well as the cellular and terminal wifi equipment. It also interfaces with all major SATCOM connectivity types. 

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