Every new generation of commercial aircraft upgrades health monitoring tools as well as basic aircraft design. Embraer’s E2 jets will improve upon the capabilities of the E1’s analytic tool, called AHEAD-PRO, explains Johann Bordais, president & CEO of Embraer Services & Support.
AHEAD-PRO monitors fault reports while E1 aircraft are in operation, gate to gate. “For the E2, this capability was enhanced to include power up and power down, thereby monitoring power-up faults,” Bordais says. This improves coverage and is especially beneficial in remote stations where contract maintenance is required.
AHEAD-PRO’s connectivity on E2 models will also enable it to capture flight data after each landing, eliminating the need for manual data downloads. Maintenance technicians can thus focus on more important activities.
Bordais say the E2’s onboard maintenance system will improve Embraer’s response to in-service issues, compared with the E1, due to the larger number of parameters available, approximately 80,000.
In addition, Embraer is automating data analysis to provide prescriptive solutions to customers. “Our goal is to allow the customer to take the best approach for preventive maintenance based on their own business model and operational characteristics,” Bordais says.
For instance, if an airline flies using a hub-and-spoke model and is always flying back to the main base, AHEAD-PRO may wait to recommend servicing a hydraulic system when it is closer to the lower limit, whereas hydraulics on an airline with a point-to-point operation would be serviced much earlier.
AHEAD-PRO will continue to provide fault forwarding with full integration to Embraer’s digital publications, which allows airline maintenance control centers and line maintenance technicians to prepare for upcoming maintenance.
AHEAD-PRO also allows airlines to plan preventive maintenance to avoid failures. Bordais says the tool alerts customers when aircraft need preventive maintenance 25 days ahead, on average, of pilots reporting failures. “This feature has helped airlines reduce total interruptions by up to 12%.”
Monitoring flight deck effects and maintenance messages has saved up to 120 man-hours of engineering analysis per aircraft per year, Bordais estimates.
More than 80% of all E-jets customers subscribe to AHEAD-PRO services.