Embraer recently launched the next generation of the AHEAD tool for airlines and other customers to implement digital predictive maintenance on E-Jets. (Photos: Embraer)
Embraer Services & Support has launched a next-generation version of its Aircraft Health Analysis and Diagnosis (AHEAD) system, which can help airlines and other customers monitor their aircraft for potential maintenance issues before they break or present critical problems.
Announced at the Paris Air Show last week, AHEAD provides digital predictive maintenance for Embraer’s Executive Jet (also called E-Jet) fleets. More than 1,250 commercial and executive Embraer aircraft are using AHEAD worldwide.
Predictive maintenance, backed by increasingly advanced health and usage monitoring systems integrated into flight-critical aircraft systems, is overtaking reactive maintenance as the industry norm, as Avionics explored in depth in this previous feature.
Using data analysis to detect operational anomalies and possible defects allows operators to fix problems or replace parts before they cause time-consuming, costly, and potentially catastrophic component failures.
“AHEAD uses predictive analytics solutions to forecast when maintenance tasks will be needed by our customers, allowing them to plan maintenance schedules in advance.” (Embraer)
Most modern aircraft broadcast detailed data from sensors arrayed throughout the airframe, which is then analyzed through health and usage monitoring systems, or HUMS. Systems such as AHEAD make data-gathering and analysis much easier for aircraft maintenance shops.
AHEAD integrates and analyzes trends from several systems such as engine parameters, pneumatics, hydraulics, landing gear, navigation, and instruments, Embraer said. The monitoring can detect anomalies and identify patterns that indicate potential issues and systems degradation and prescribe a timeline for addressing those issues.
The system’s new version was developed using the expertise of Embraer Services & Support engineering which has 20 years of experience doing aircraft data analysis for predictive maintenance of E-Jet fleets.
Embraer used that experience to implement 12 new reliability trends for aircraft systems for early degradation detection on E2, predictive capabilities powered by machine learning, and troubleshooting enhancement for Flight Controls No Dispatch.
“AHEAD uses predictive analytics solutions to forecast when maintenance tasks will be needed by our customers, allowing them to plan maintenance schedules in advance. By planning in advance, they can avoid unnecessary maintenance and reduce the time that aircraft spend on the ground. This helps our customers optimize their resources and improve operational efficiency,” says Johann Bordais, President and CEO, Embraer Services & Support.
Embraer Services & Support plans to release a new update soon that will contain more reliability trends and tailored maintenance recommendations in real-time, the company said.