The borescope inspection (BSI) process has changed little over decades and it is not keeping up with equipment advancements, according to Fergal Whelan-Porter, CEO of Aeolus Engine Services, the Dublin-based specialist in CFM 56 engine leasing, sales and maintenance oversight management.
“Given the importance of borescope results in engine leasing, purchasing and maintenance, we found that even with email, Dropbox, DVD and USBs, the sharing of BSI data was archaic, slow, and out of step with the fast pace of modern aircraft engine transactions,” he reports. “We also saw a problem with BSI data storage and accessibility, and its use in internal discussions, or among clients, vendors, and consultants divided by geography.”
Because of this, Aerolus and Nebula Innovations launched a proprietary software product called InstantBSI that supports the borescope process for any aircraft engine, regardless of age or type.
Whelan-Porter adds that InstantBSI delivers a “revolutionary solution” through the use of interactive engine maps and quick display of findings, including photos and videos.
“This means that airlines, lessors, lessees, and asset owners can view, share and store any amount of engine BSI data in seconds and hold global teleconferences to review and accept that data in real time,” he points out. “The software also eliminates unnecessary paperwork.”
“InstantBSI is a licensed pay per usage product, accessible on any digital device,” Whelan-Porter explains.
Two airlines—an Asian and African carrier—have signed up for trial periods with InstantBSI, along with two Dublin-based aircraft lessors, and one U.S. MRO, he says, adding that the company targets 100 potential clients by year-end 2019.
Whelan-Porter reports that Aeolus Engine Services, through its partnership with Nebula Innovations, is also developing new aviation software products, such as InstantLRU—an augmented reality application that is designed to identify quick engine change (QEC) and accessory components installed on an engine with the swipe of any smart device with a built-in camera. The software is planned for compatibility with Apple and most Android devices, with distribution via app stores.
InstantLRU uses the augmented reality capabilities in modern smart phones and tablets to scan an aircraft engine (on-wing or off-wing), and identify in real time what quick engine change and accessory components are present through item identifier technology.
“In a matter of seconds, you can scan and identify the accessory build on your engine and translate that into an inventory report that can be used for closer inspection to notate the component parts and serial numbers,” he points out. “The pre-loaded report will also notate missing components (by process of elimination),” which could be particularly helpful for pre-purchase/lease inspections and on-wing troubleshooting.
InstantLRU market launch is planned for the second quarter of 2020. As with InstantBSI, InstantLRU is being developed to support any aircraft engine type and technology, however, notes Whelan-Porter, the software is being released in stages with the most used CFM International, General Electric, Pratt &Whitney and Rolls-Royce products coming first.
“Commercial aviation has been slow to adopt the world of IT connectivity. But the winds are changing and Aeolus Engine Services is determined to contribute to the efficiencies of modern technologies,” says Whelan-Porter.
Aeolus Engine Services has a history in engine maintenance software development, extending back to 2008 when it introduced AETRACK (Aircraft Engine Tracking). A life-limited parts (LLP), airworthiness directive (AD) and service bulletin (SB) tracking and reporting software, it is available only in conjunction with the company’s technical service agreements.
“AETRACK allows us to automatically record engine LLP usage and cycles remaining, assess effectivity of ADs and SBs and produce comprehensive compliance status reports in seconds,” Whelan-Porter explains. “We assess every AD and SB release and issue an Airworthiness Compliance Advisory Notice with clear and specific action items.”