Airbus Helicopters Grows Maintenance Data Ecosystem

Airbus Helicopters Connected Services
Credit: Airbus

As it grows its digital services portfolio, Airbus Helicopters is getting more customers on board with sharing flight and maintenance data to advance the creation of a “connected helicopters ecosystem.”

According to the company, the number of helicopters sharing data through its Connected Services offerings has nearly doubled over the last year to more than 1,000, representing about 165 operators in total.

“Collection of such valuable data is made possible thanks to our strategy of building digital solutions such as HUMS (health and usage monitoring system), digital log cards and digital logbooks, which enable customers to digitize their operations,” says Christoph Zammert, EVP customer support and services, Airbus Helicopters. “Once our operators are connected to Airbus systems, we can then begin sharing data, applying analytics and generating data-driven recommendations that reduce maintenance burden, control costs, enhance safety and increase availability.”

At Heli-Expo 2020 the OEM signed agreements with four additional maintenance information system (MIS) providers—ADMS, IXARYS, 2MoRO and 135ACM--to enable-real-time maintenance data collection. Airbus customer Hungarian Air Ambulance also signed a three-year contract to deploy the OEM’s Connected Services across its fleet of H135 helicopters, which includes a new modular compliance monitoring system called Flightastic.

“Every time an engine starts and with every beat of a rotor blade, a wealth of valuable data streams out of a helicopter,” says Zammert, adding that Airbus’ maintenance recommendations alongside digitized tools for managing maintenance and flight operations should save Hungarian Air Ambulance time while increasing fleet availability and optimizing costs.

In terms of analytics-based maintenance recommendations, Airbus says its Flyscan predictive maintenance service, launched in 2017, is “already bearing fruit.” Flyscan, which analyzes HUMS data of approximately 100 helicopters, was recently expanded to include additional data types beyond vibrations, such as usage data, avionics codes and flight parameters. According to Airbus, operators have reported receiving an average of six maintenance recommendations through Flyscan per aircraft per year, which the OEM says translates to avoiding two AOG situations per year.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.