With nearly 400 on order and deliveries starting to pick up speed, Bombardier’s C Series aircraft is enabling the same kind of data-rich maintenance common on the newest Boeing and Airbus models.
Todd Young, vice president and general manager of customer services, says, “with the C Series’ entry into service, Bombardier’s FlightLink system also went into service.” FlightLink is a suite of tools that allows Bombardier and airlines to monitor the aircraft while flying, effectively manage the large amount of data available for download after each flight and perform analytics on this data.
“FlightLink enhances decision-making on aircraft performance and maintenance, eliminating wait times and allowing for rapid analysis,” Young explains. “The system thereby optimizes aircraft availability and lowers maintenance costs.”
FlightLink works by taking data from aircraft during flight, running that data through Bombardier’s expert data management system and transmitting the results directly to the customer. It has an easy-to-use, web-based interface, reduces manpower required for data management and analysis and saves airlines time and money. The tool also enables operators to wirelessly upload data, such as field loadable software and configuration files, directly to an aircraft prior to flight.
Early C Series customers Swiss International Air Lines, airBaltic and Delta Air Lines have all signed up for FlightLink. “Discussions are on-going with other customers,” Young says.
Airlines can do their own analysis using FlightLink, but Bombardier also provides a suite of reports and analytics as part of the service. Either way, Young predicts the tool will both reduce maintenance cost and improve reliability. “By transforming unscheduled maintenance into scheduled maintenance, airlines will be able to increase the reliability of the product and reduce their maintenance cost while reducing disruptions to their operation.”