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May 2018


Airbus is demonstrating the AdvancedInitial demonstrations of the drone-based system have been made to several airlines that have expressed interest. It also will be offered to MRO organisations. It will be available for industry use in 4Q18 following its approval by EASA as an alternative means to complete the General Visual Inspection (GVI) process.

Upgrading to the new drone-based inspection system will enable operators and MRO providers to reduce inspection time, allow the aircraft to be released earlier while enhancing the overall quality of the reports, improving damage localisation, repeatability and traceability. The new inspection process will take only three hours, including 30 minutes of image capture by the drone, and will improve operator safety. By contrast, traditional aircraft visual inspection is performed from the ground or using a telescopic platform, in particular for the upper parts of the aircraft – a process which could typically last up to one day.

The Advanced Inspection Drone platform is an element of Airbus’ ‘Hangar of the Future’ initiative. This project combines the use of innovative technologies and smart ‘Internet of Things’-connected equipment such as drones, collaborative robots (or cobots) and non-destructive sensors with aircraft technical documentation and aircraft in-service data collected via Airbus’ open data platform, Skywise.    

Development of the Advanced Inspection Drone was made in cooperation with Airbus subsidiary Testia, which specialises in non-destructive testing.


Safran Nacelles has unveiled its NacelleLife service offering, providing complete coverage of its jet engine nacelle systems, including thrust reversers. This new offering provides tailorable nacelle services to the requirements of operators, involving any or all steps from preparations for service entry through to retirement from operation.

NacelleLife is developed for responsive, cost effective and high quality services that keep airliners in operational condition while minimising maintenance costs. Focusing on a customer’s fleet, the components of NacelleLife include initial provisioning assistance and hands-on maintenance coaching for an aircraft’s pre-entry phase. This is followed by on-site presence and online access to technical documentation at entry-into-operation; fleet management for operational continuity; scheduled and unscheduled maintenance; and proactive preparation for scheduled maintenance while in revenue service. Transition support for the phase-out is the last step.

In addition, NacelleLife provides innovative service solutions. One solution is JetLife, a mobile application that provides the latest Service Bulletins (SBs) for an airline’s entire nacelle fleet. A customer subscribing to JetLife is informed in real time of what modifications are requested, on which material. The customer also can access additional SB information, such as pricing for its application, the time requested for such a modification, and its benefit. This service is part of the scheduled maintenance phase in the NacelleLife offering.

Another innovative solution is Presto, an infrared thermography evaluation tool for composite structures that is proposed as part of the NacelleLife unscheduled maintenance offer. Using a gun-type device, Presto enables onwing assessments of overheating effects on such nacelle elements as a thrust reverser’s inner fixed structure (IFS). The can be used to assess and validate a composite structure’s health in cases of discoloration from overheating, but when there is no visual evidence of disbonding or delamination, potentially reducing AOG time.

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