Farnborough Air Show

MyTravel takes next step toward paperless cockpit

 - November 16, 2006, 4:51 AM

British charter airline MyTravel is using an electronic technical log (ETL) to manage its aircraft fleet data, including maintenance requirements and trip reports. This is another step in the goal to achieving a truly paperless cockpit, according to Data Systems & Solutions (DS&S), UK-based developer of the CoreWing ETL. The firm also offers a product called CoreAlert, which monitors engine health, and CoreFleet monitoring aircraft reliability and maintenance data management. Real-time analysis of on-board information allows these systems to predict the need for short-, medium-, or long-term action and advise customers accordingly. The analysis generated by the CoreWing ELT can stimulate alert messages as well as optimize maintenance activity, helping to lower downtime, operational costs and inventory levels, said DS&S civil aviation marketing director Nick Godwin.

Wholly owned by Rolls-Royce (Hall 4 Stand G17), DS&S claims that with maintenance managers linked to aircraft data systems, peaks and troughs in maintenance requirements can be accommodated and turnaround times reduced to increase aircraft availability.

Since DS&S has access to carrier records, as well as those of some manufacturers, fleet-wide experience is available to customers. Data analysis is seen as especially valuable to fast-growing operators trying to keep up with regulatory requirements.

Cost management is critical for operators such as MyTravel, which can use DS&S’s CoreWing ETL for weight-and-balance control to aid fuel planning, Godwin said. DS&S is evaluating use of CoreWing for fuel burn and uplift reconciliation.

CoreWing, which captures flight and maintenance data for real-time transmission to operations departments, is claimed to provide improved accuracy and reduce technical-log management costs by 40 percent. A MyTravel Airbus A321 flight in May is reported to have been a world’s first for the use of an ETL without paper backup.

Godwin said the ETL can be used in conjunction with electronic flight bags to create paperless flight decks. CoreWing is being introduced across MyTravel’s A321, A330, Boeing 757 and 767 fleet.

The DS&S CoreControl product line also includes CoreFuture, providing fleet optimization, and CoreRecord, offering configuration management.

Through CoreAlert, the engine health monitoring system, DS&S monitors 6,200 engines on more than 2,800 aircraft flying with more than 300 operators, including 100 airlines. Engines that are monitored continuously enable DS&S to provide trend-analysis results within about 10 minutes.

CoreAlert was developed for Rolls-Royce and International Aircraft Engines powerplants, but DS&S wants to apply the “behavior trend” model to other engines. It has modeled General Electric CF6 and CF34; CFM International CFM56; and Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200, PW4000 and PW2000 engines. In the process it has tested the system on 700 engines flying with several operators.

The heart of the DS&S service is its EHM health center, which receives engine data from various sources (flight logs, quick-access or digital flight-data recorders, or fuel handlers) through ground stations or direct from aircraft in flight. After analysis, data is stored or distributed electronically in sanitized form as global fleet information to airlines, manufacturers, maintenance shops or service personnel.

Regional airplane manufacturer ATR adopted DS&S’s CoreFleet for its AWARE reliability-reporting “tool” launched 18 months ago. This model is being offered to individual vendors, lessors and other OEMs. DS&S sees a particular market for regional aircraft support operations where significant fleets are slowly declining. “These operations do not want to make significant IT investments,” concluded Godwin.