Donecle Branches Into Embraer Capabilities With Latest Customer Agreement

Credit: Donecle

Donecle’s automated aircraft inspection drone system is now being used on Embraer aircraft for the first time thanks to its latest customer agreement. Amsterdam-based Regional Jet Center (RJC) has signed a multi-year agreement with Donecle covering the deployment and support of an automated drone solution.

According to Michiel van der Eijk, managing director, RJC, the Embraer-specialized MRO recently trialed Donecle’s drone system and it was impressed by the capabilities. “We have been looking into drone inspections for the past couple of years as we believe they have the potential to accelerate inspections and improve overall traceability,” he says.

The system Donecle has customized for RJC features automatic flight on all Embraer aircraft, as well as advanced image analysis and reporting software to accelerate all visual inspections, including those for lightning strikes, paint and placards. Its cloud platform, which can be used to track data over time and provide digital twin models of an aircraft surface, will integrate with Swiss-AS AMOS software, which RJC uses to manage its maintenance operations.

RJC specializes in maintenance services for Embraer E170 and E190 aircraft. It performs line maintenance operations for KLM Cityhopper and several other Embraer operators from its base at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

“Deploying our technology at Schiphol Airport is one thing, but starting the qualification of our tool on Embraer aircraft is clearly another,” notes Matthieu Claybrough, Donecle’s CEO. He adds that since RJC services more than 55 Embraer aircraft per year, it is an ideal partner for its drone system’s first deployment on the OEM’s aircraft.

RJC’s ties to the KLM Group likely also bolstered the cooperation. It previously operated as Martinair Maintenance & Engineering before Martinair’s integration within the KLM Group in 2014, when it was renamed RJC. KLM’s maintenance arm, AFI KLM E&M, has been a partner in the development of Donecle’s drone since 2016 and renewed its cooperation with the startup in 2020.

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.