Pratt & Whitney Canada has been awarded a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration supplemental type certificate for its flight-data acquisition storage and transmission (FAST) engine-diagnostic system for the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 regional turboprop. The system is claimed to be unique in its ability to acquire, store and transmit information from the flight-data recorder, allowing review of full flight operations quality analysis (FOQA) information. Fast units are already fitted to 400 in-service Dash 8 aircraft.
The engine manufacturer said FAST gives operators a competitive advantage by providing a single source for managing all aircraft performance data, eliminating the need for scheduled manual downloads. FAST is intended to allow operators to plan maintenance sessions, for example, by taking advantage of overnight layovers.
The system provides early detection of minor issues so that preventative maintenance can be conducted. It also gives timely post-flight fault code/event review, which enables determination of aircraft availability.