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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Will 2008 be the Year of the HUMS?

Goodrich expects 2008 to bring a shift toward greater use of health and usage monitoring systems in commercial helicopters. Various forms of such systems are finding greater use on military aircraft, driven in part by U.S. Army efforts to reduce helicopter operating and maintenance costs. A key part of that is the initiative to move rotorcraft from "hard time" to "condition-based" inspection and maintenance requirements. The Army, for instance, in November tapped Bell Helicopter to help it develop a new generation of sensors needed to determine just what the "condition" of a helicopter is. Health and usage monitoring systems have found use on heavy helicopters, pushed by demand from offshore oil and gas companies. Goodrich expects their use to migrate into the medium commercial helicopter fleets this year. (Air Logistics and Appareo Systems have developed a monitoring system for Bell 206s and 407s.) For related news
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