“Big Data” is fast becoming a stalwart buzzword of the 21st century business lexicon, yet how many who casually toss it around have a strong grasp for exactly what it is and does, and can offer? In a watered-down nutshell, big data is the process of sifting through enormous quantities of raw data and identifying often subtle trends, like indicators of failure. But how exactly is Big Data positively impacting fleet maintenance today? Is it farfetched and futuristic, or does it provide actionable intelligence right now?
Aircraft ground support equipment are pieces of machinery which are designed for specific purposes and do those things generally very well. However, after certain periods of time or due to advances in technology, that machinery becomes outdated or even obsolete. Believe it or not, GSE can impact aircraft operations significantly, both good and bad. Since GSE items are costly, you need to come up with a plan to update your fleet in a way which best supports your operation.
Predictive analytics in data analytics has proven to be a game changer in retail. It allows retailers to fine tune marketing strategies to almost unbelievable levels of accuracy, drilling down precisely what consumers are most likely to purchase and when.
But this only begins to scratch the surface of data analysis and analytics – predictive analytics, often used to determine customer behaviors, is also proving capable of predicting future events to include equipment failure. This sort of behavioral analysis is remarkable and directly useful to predicting change, breakage, and failure in just about any industry to include aviation equipment, both aircraft as well as ground equipment.
The technology age holds great potential for aircraft maintenance, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO), and basically any other part of aircraft operations. While software programs are not particularly new, dating back into the 1990s, they have improved by an order of magnitude. There is now no shortage of software systems and mobile applications which can do any number of tasks from supply and logistics to data analytics. Let’s take a look at a few of the best of the market.
The advent of 3D printing, technically known as additive manufacturing (AM), has taken the hobbyist world by storm in recent years. It is a fairly simple concept where polymers, metals, concrete, paper, or ceramics are formed into complex shapes by the use of digital files.
The standard construction material of commercial aircraft has remained virtually unchanged in over the course of the last six decades; semi-monocoque design with sheet metal formers, stringers, and bulkheads, covered with aluminum skin held together by rivets.
After months (maybe years) of careful consideration, planning, saving, and some fretting, you or your company has decided to take a huge leap and purchase a corporate aircraft. “Corporate jet” sounds awfully alluring, doesn’t it?
Buying a private jet, whether it be for personal (business) use, corporate use, or a charter agency, is a big decision. They are a huge-ticket item and moreover, the operational expenses are very high as opposed to other equipment of comparable value (yachts/boats, construction equipment, etc.).
The aviation and airline industry as a whole has been talking about a significant shortfall globally in pilots over the next two decades, and that murmur has recently been rising closer to a shriek. The problem is that aviation maintenance technicians and mechanics are facing perhaps an even bleaker outlook of their own.