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01 March 2018
01. March 2018 Helicopters

Airbus Helicopters outlines complete connected services offer

At HAI Heli-Expo 2018, Airbus’ helicopter division presented its three-tiered connected services offer for enhanced safety, operational cost savings and higher aircraft availability.

HCare FlyScan connected service
HCare FlyScan connected service    
FlyScan experts    
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This new addition to the HCare service offer is comprised of a suite of software and applications that works in concert with operational flight and aircraft data to give operators a global view of their fleet’s performance, usage, and maintenance needs—aiding decision-making for safe and cost-efficient operations.

Three digitalised options are proposed for the benefits of flight, operations analyses and support decision-making.

The first level, Digitize, provides users with applications and data-as-a-service, categorised into three packages focused on safety management, maintenance, and operations (Ops). Users can easily access and visualise their data, simplifying their operations while setting the foundation for detailed analysis of their activities. One example is the maintenance package combining the mobile and web based applications Fleet Keeper (eTechlogbook) and Fleet Master (powered by RUSADA) with real time data sharing to ease and strengthen airworthiness and maintenance management.

Flight Planner, Airbus Helicopters’ electronic flight bag app, facilitates flight planning and assesses the feasibility of missions by integrating all-in-one software, supplying pilots with data on aircraft performance, weight and balance and map displays, among others. Its latest version brings further enhancements in wirelessly uploading flight plans to the aircraft’s Garmin FMS/GPS GTN750; an updated version will be available on the H145, H175, H225 and H215 by Q2 2018, and on the H135 at the end of 2018.

The second level of service, Optimize, includes data analytics services such as helicopter flight data monitoring to identify the exposure to risks in flight, or a parts and stocks forecast for optimising costs. For instance, to aid predictive maintenance, the FlyScan software helps customers study data from their fleet’s health & usage monitoring system (HUMS). Over the course of the flight, HUMS records information about the aircraft’s behaviour, which is then analysed to provide feedback on the helicopter’s current condition. By allowing operators to anticipate unscheduled maintenance events and avoid disruptions to their operations, FlyScan enhances flight safety, helps increase fleet availability, and reduces customers’ maintenance burden.

Finally, level three – Achieve – sets Airbus Helicopters experts to work analysing data, with the aim of identifying improvements or proposing tailored solutions to targets set by customers.

In the air, in communication
Digital communication forms part of the connected services offer. To aid the exchange of information between a helicopter and ground services, Airbus is teaming with Astronautics Corporation of America to develop and produce the wireless Airborne Communication System (wACS), the first prototype of which will begin bench tests in March 2018.

Made up of a set of communication modules and software representing a complete air-to-ground, modular data transmission system, wACS will allow customers to exchange data through various channels (Wifi, Satcom); supply e-flight bag applications with data; and store and retrieve operational data. This new solution will leverage the value of data for safer and more efficient operations.

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