New lateral trim solutions developed by Airbus will decrease possible drag, reduce fuel consumption and optimise flight paths for its A318, A319 and A320 jetliners.
This project made swift progress using the accurate data from Airbus’ Production Aircraft Test System (PATS) – which is used to verify aircraft during pre-delivery processes – along with problem analysis tools from consultant company Shainin.
“As technicians we expected a technical solution, however Shainin are statisticians,” explained Eric Papy of Airbus’ Mise au Point (MAP) design office representative team in Hamburg, Germany. “They wanted very specific information from PATS, from measuring aircraft on the final assembly line and the wings at Broughton. It was statistical analyses that found the answer.”
Shainin devised a mathematical formula for predicting roll values for each aircraft ahead of its first flight, allowing the MAP team to make any necessary adjustments during assembly – virtually eliminating the need for re-flights.
With A320 Family deliveries now running at 36 aircraft per month internationally, increased production efficiency and optimised lead times have become increasingly important – leading to the selection of lateral trim as a target project for Shainin, who started working on four Airbus pilot projects this spring.
Thanks to the success demonstrated with the lateral trim solutions and on the other pilot projects, Airbus now is looking to create a dedicated problem-solving team that will use Shainin’s techniques to address other complex operational and engineering issues.