New technology provides data for maintenance and reliability
SMS is advancing Safety with increased data
Airbus and Delta need to incorporate Safety attention
Press Release- Toulouse,
“• As a recognized leader in innovation, Delta Air Lines partnered with Airbus to enhance Skywise
- Through the agreement, an additional 400 Delta aircraft will be connected to Skywise
Delta Air Lines has entered into a multi-year contract with Airbus to continue using the Skywise open-data platform and related predictive maintenance services. The airline will expand the use of the tool to its A320 and A330 fleets – comprising around 400 aircraft – to track and analyse their operations and performance data and assess failure probabilities in order to anticipate maintenance tasks.
Delta was one of the airlines involved in the development of Skywise Predictive Maintenance by co-designing, testing and making improvement recommendations about some of its key features.
“Skywise is the latest example of our great partnership with Airbus,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO. “Delta people are continuously focused on improving the experience for customers, and this new tool will enable them to provide an exceptional, reliable experience.”
“I’m extremely proud to see our long-time partner Delta Air Lines, one of the leading airlines of the world, join the Skywise platform,” said Tom Enders, Airbus’ CEO. “Skywise is propelling the aviation industry to new levels of productivity and efficiency, and it is truly becoming an industry flagship. I want to thank Delta for their trust and confidence.”
Skywise was developed to enable Airbus, airlines, equipment manufacturers and maintenance operators to tap into vast amounts of aircraft operational and performance data and identify areas of improvement. Skywise can gather and track many thousands of data parameters on aircraft in operation.
Use of the Skywise-based applications to analyse extensive aircraft data can enable airlines to identify efficiencies, cost savings and enhanced revenue opportunities. Key applications help airlines reduce operational interruptions, maximise aircraft utilisation and flight operations. In particular, Skywise Predictive Maintenance enables them to turn unscheduled maintenance into scheduled maintenance and thus optimise aircraft operations. Airbus rolled-out the Skywise platform at the Paris Air Show in 2017.
Verbatim copy of press release, emphasis added
Skywise is Airbus’ new open digital platform for aviation developed in collaboration with Palantir Technologies, pioneer in data integration and analytics. By combining Airbus’ intimate aerospace expertise with Palantir’s know-how in data management, Skywise empowers aviation end users to gain new insights from their own data in a global aviation ecosystem context.
Skywise centralizes datasets from all major aviation players – sourced from both aircraft, maintenance and eclectic information systems- to turn data into operational performance and business results. Hosted on a secure cloud infrastructure coupled with best-in-class analytics and enhanced aircraft connectivity, Skywise provides a single access point to explore and correlate massive amounts of untapped in-service, industrial, operational and contextual data.
Skywise offers three levels of service:
- Skywise Core (data integration and agnostic analytical environments)
- Skywise Digital Services (high-value applications integrating Airbus deep expertise)
Skywise Core is the backbone of the whole Skywise infrastructure. Skywise Core integrates and processes data coming from both aircraft and operations.
Airbus also provides agnostic analytical environments to help airline users to visualize and manipulate the data, as well as out-of-the-box dashboards. Airlines can use Skywise Core to create their own environments and meet specific operational needs.
Skywise Reliability provide all the necessary dashboards to deeply analyze airlines fleet reliability. Thanks to a wide range of dynamic metrics, Skywise Relability supports airlines in identifying and analyzing fleet issues, mesuring [sic]fleet performance as well as benchmarking their fleet against the worldwide Airbus fleet.
Skywise Predictive Maintenance is a unique combination of aircraft connectivity and engineering expertise Airbus has developed with the objective of significantly reducing airline operational interruptions and operational costs.
Skywise Predictive Maintenance combines the new generation of aircraft connectivity together with Skywise to enable timely and informed maintenance decision-making. The service is available for the A320 family and includes:
- The retrofit of Fomax, Airbus’ latest router system transmitting massively and securely aircraft data to Skywise thanks to 4G Gatelink antennas, enabling nose-to-tail aircraft connectivity
- Early alerts of upcoming systems failures generated by predictive models Airbus has built on its design office expertise and on Skywise analytics capabilities.
- Low digital transformation investments
- Improved fleet operational reliability through predictive & preventative maintenance
- Improved operational efficiency for legacy fleets
- Rapid root-cause analysis of in-service issues
- Optimizing each aircraft’s performance through flight operations data analytics
- Tracking maintenance effectiveness over time
- Decreased maintenance costs
- One-click reporting workflows, including complex reporting to regulatory bodies
- Benchmarking at aircraft, fleet and global level
- Reduced data collection leadtime
- Simplified reliability analysis and reporting
- Enhanced team collaboration
Skywise Predictive Maintenance
- Reduced operational interruptions
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Improved insight on massive volume of aircraft data for root cause analysis
- Best-in class aircraft connectivity
Verbatim copy of WEBSITE, emphasis added
For the last few years, aviation safety has announced exceptional safety performance and those numbers are in part attributable to more reliable powerplants, a significant increase in aircraft navigation accuracy, higher quality standards in airframe production, avionics which enhance control of the onboard systems, improved crew training, better designed maintenance processes and the like. Some commentators, particularly those in the regulatory profession, point to a preventative perspective facilitated by Safety Management Systems.
The reason why aviation safety today is increasingly proactive, rather than reactive, it is proffered, is that all involved in aviation safety are capturing massive amounts of aircraft performance indicators, those sets of numbers are shared among the airlines and the CAAs and the computer power available today can detect trends which signal risk needing immediate attention. Planning to extend the information collection both within the aircraft systems and within the universe of operators should increase the reliability of the predictive data.
Even more impressive has been the collective effort by international safety organizations to extend this information chain back to the OEMs manufacturing records and beyond to the MROs. Computer technology, called Blockchain, has provided a backbone to carry this flow and to do so with the highest levels of safety.
The SMS approach has returned to the forefront of aviation safety the concept of collaboration, or stated in more crass economic terms, “Safety is not a forum for airlines to compete.” Bobbi Wells, vice president of safety and airworthiness at FedEx’s Air Operations, stated this important principal quite eloquently:
“In aviation, safety isn’t a competitive arena. We exist in that arena together, regardless of what color your airplane is or what your logo looks like. We share resources in that space, so it’s really important not to just meet the regulations but to work with those agencies to innovate.
Returning to the highlighted words in the Airbus-Delta Press Release and the Airbus Skywise description. The word SAFETY is not mentioned. Perhaps one can assume that by mentioning “reliability”, “reduced operational interruptions”, and “root cause analyses”, those words are surrogates for safety. However, a better practice would be to list SAFETY as a primary reason for these enhancements.
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