Airbus technical magazine
October 2017
#60
FAST
Flight Airworthiness Support Technology
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Airbus technical magazine
#60
FAST
Flight Airworthiness Support Technology
Publisher: Alizée GENILLOUD
Chief Editor: Deborah BUCKLER
Design: PONT BLEU
Cover image: Hervé GOUSSET
Printer: Amadio
Authorisation for reprinting
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ISSN 1293-5476
Optimise the skies
04
Air Traffic Management
modernisation programmes
RSC traceability
12
Removable Structural Components
Aquarius
18
Dealing with water in jet fuel
electronic Quick
Reference Handbook
24
Making the paperless cockpit a reality
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Fleet-wide systems
maintenance
32
Priorities and status at a glance
FAST from the past
38
Around the clock,
around the world
39
Field representatives
03 FAST#60
© AIRBUS 2017 All rights reserved. Proprietary document
Optimise
the skies
Air Traffic Management (ATM)
modernisation programmes
Article by (left to right)
Daniel CHIESA
Airline Flight Organisations Expert
AIRBUS
daniel.chiesa@airbus.com
Didier DELIBES
Project Manager
AIRBUS
didier.delibes@airbus.com
With air traffic set to double over the next 15 years,
ATM modernisation programmes around the world
are aiming to ensure a high performance infrastructure
that will allow airlines to expand their business.
In addition to this, airlines are demanding more
cost-efficient air traffic management and more
environmentally-friendly operations are expected.
ATM modernisation is therefore key to the commercial aircraft industry and a priority for both operators and Airbus.
There are however several challenges to be considered:
• Political: The ATM context is fragmented due to states exercising national sovereignty
• Transitional: New ATM concepts have long development cycles, typically 10 to 15 years
04 FAST#60
• Complexity: ATM covers Air Traffic Control, Network Management systems, airports, airlines’ operational
control centres and aircraft
Air Traffic Management modernisation programmes
The stakeholders
Airlines
Aircraft manufacturers
with avionics
suppliers
Air navigation
service
providers
Airports
Ground
infrastructure
Several ATM modernisation programmes have been launched to respond to the
specific needs of different regions of the world (see fig.1). It is hoped that many of
these will set ambitious performance objectives along the lines of SESAR and
NextGen, such as 50% reduction of navigation fees, reducing CO2 emissions by 10%,
or having the potential of a 3-fold increase in ATM capacity. These programmes also
have the merit of federating the various ATM stakeholders and of progressing in a
collaborative manner that is beneficial for all.
NextGen
SESAR
The ICAO GANP
NextGen is the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) programme to
modernise the air transportation system
for the United States of America.
This comprehensive initiative relies on
satellite navigation and advanced digital
communications, to help improve
and evolve the National Airspace System.
Single European Sky ATM Research is the
European programme launched in 2009
in order to provide Europe with a highperformance ATM infrastructure.
The fifth edition of the International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO) Global Air Navigation Plan
(GANP) is designed to guide complementary and
sector-wide air transport progress over 2016-2030
and is approved triennially by the ICAO Council.
2016 marked the completion of the first
phase of SESAR research and innovation
(SESAR 1) and the delivery of mature
technological and operational solutions.
The second phase (SESAR2020) will
support the early deployment of major
improvements, such as the initial-4D
concept, through very large scale
demonstrations running from 2018
to equip more than 100 aircraft.
The GANP represents a rolling, 15-year strategic
methodology which leverages existing technologies
and anticipates future developments based on an
harmonisation of SESAR and NextGen concepts
and state/industry agreed operational objectives.
This structured approach provides a basis for sound
investment strategies and will generate commitment
from states, equipment manufacturers, operators
and service providers.
The advantages that harmonised ATM solutions would bring to worldwide
interoperability has encouraged Airbus (along with other aircraft manufacturers)
to strongly support the ICAO initiative to federate regional ATM modernisation
programmes through the GANP.
Fig. 1 - Leading ATM modernisation programmes
Russia
Federal Investment
Programme
Collaborative Actions for Renovation of Air Traffic Systems
BRASIL
NZ
New Southern Sky
05 FAST#60
FIANS
Air Traffic Management modernisation programmes
Trajectory-Based
Operations enable
airlines to fly their
preferred routes
New concepts in aircraft operations - ready to deploy
Next generation Air Traffic Management system(s) will require more interactions
and cooperation between the aircraft and the ground.
ICAO definition of TrajectoryBased Operations (TBO)
By participating in regional modernisation programmes and ICAO harmonisation
activities in the GANP, Airbus is ensuring that:
A concept enabling globally
consistent performance-based
4D trajectory management by
sharing and managing trajectory
information. TBO will enhance
planning and execution of efficient
flights, reducing potential conflicts
and resolving upcoming network
and system demand/capacity
imbalances early. It covers ATM
processes starting at the point an
individual flight is being planned
through flight execution to post
flight activities.
• The future operational concepts make the best use of existing and future aircraft
capabilities and that these create value for airlines
• Air and ground development /deployment are synchronised
As a result, (and thanks to its work with SESAR in particular), Airbus has contributed
to progress on several topics, among which the following are ready for deployment
and constitute breakthroughs in terms of aircraft operations, with significant benefits
on ATM capacity, efficiency and safety:
• Trajectory-Based Operations
• Ground Based Augmentation System
• Airport Surface Indicating and Alerting
Trajectory-Based Operations (TBO)
The overarching concept of ATM modernisation is the move from airspace-based
operations (e.g. traffic separation based on current position and radar plot) to
Trajectory-Based Operations, relying mainly on accurate flight planning data,
and accurate predictions of aircraft positions (the 4D aircraft trajectory), shared
and synchronised between all stakeholders, including the Network Manager,
the Air Traffic Control Units, the Airlines Control Centre and the aircraft.
06 FAST#60
Video
PEGASE, Providing Effective
Ground & Air data Sharing
via Extended Projected Profile
Air Traffic Management modernisation programmes
This paradigm shift will enable conflicting trajectories to be resolved upfront
and the controller’s role will evolve from short term tactical control to more strategic
and monitoring tasks.
As part of the TBO concept, Initial-4D (i4D) and Extended Flight Plan (EFPL)
have been developed over recent years to improve ATM predictability.
While EFPL improves and supports mainly the flight planning phase,
i4D contributes to improve flight predictions during the execution phase.
2 Initial-4D
1
Ground Based
Extended
Flight Plan
3 Augmentation System
4
4
Airport Surface Indicating and Alerting
1
Graphic toolbox
Extended Flight Plan (EFPL)
Arrows
A set of arrows has been developed to point out
different stroke weights as well as dotted strokes.
All three colour palettes can be used.
2
Both the Network Manager and Air
Traffic Control Units receive the flight
plan and recalculate its profile which
may result in misaligned trajectories.
3
EFPL as a new flight plan type will be aligned with the upcoming international standard
‘FF-ICE1’ and will mainly provide the following information:
• 4D trajectory (altitude, time, aircraft mass and speed at every waypoint)
Medium
Bold
• Flight specific performance data (optional information)
• Unconstrained climb and descent profiles
Key parameters of the 4D trajectory,
or flight specific performance data are
not all given to both parties who will tend
to exercise caution, often leading to a
wrongly rejected or wrongly accepted
flight plan.
Expected benefits:
Therefore, the Operational Flight Plan
released to the crews in some cases
does not provide the optimum vertical
profile. This is due to the fact that the
trajectory is refined to get it accepted
by both parties.
• Enhancement of traffic predictions
Thanks to the sharing of Extended
Flight Plan (EFPL) data during the
planning phase, these misalignments
will gradually disappear.
Deployment is expected to start in 2019 and will gradually integrate
Air Navigation Service Providers until 2021.
4
• Potential decrease of 15% for the rate of rejected flight plans
• More optimised trajectory computation and acceptance processes
• Alignment of airlines and ATM planned trajectories
• Improvement of demand/capacity network calculations
The flight dispatcher will have a better understanding of the errors
and will solve them more efficiently in the case of rejected flight plans
while the flight planning procedures should remain the same.
#03
Editorial
line
Airbus Brand Manual 2014
Video
Extended Flight Plan-2015
validation exercise
07 FAST#60
Today, an aircraft operator’s flight plan
delivered through ICAO FPL 2012
includes only limited information of
the 4D trajectory. Light
1
Air Traffic Management modernisation programmes
2
Initial-4D (i4D)
During the flight execution phase, the aircraft downlinks the updated 4D
trajectory information that augments the ground trajectory predictions.
3
The European Commission has
mandated the ‘Initial Trajectory
information sharing’.
As shown in SESAR i4D demonstrations, the Flight Management System (FMS)
provides the most accu­rate predictions relying on aircraft systems and sensors.
This has been recognised in the European Commission mandating the ‘initial
trajectory information-sharing’, i.e. mandating i4D for the airborne and ground
segments.
As part of the deployment plan,
45% of flights in Europe will be
operated by aircraft fitted with
the Initial-4D function in 2025.
4
With i4D, the aircraft Flight Management System computes flight trajectory
predictions, enhanced with estimates of altitude and time (4D trajectory).
These predictions are updated with ATC clearances as the flight progresses
and benefit from real-time aircraft data (weight, cost index, actual wind…)
specific to each individual flight. Then, these FMS trajectories are sent to ATC
using datalink, (through Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Contract (ADS-C)),
either on ATC request, or periodically or on event, where they are processed
to augment ground trajectory predictions.
By 1st January 2026, ATC
systems in Europe will be able
to receive and use aircraft 4D
trajectory predictions sent via
the datalink infrastructure.
Top of Descent
13:03:02
With i4D there is a
reduction in aircraft
turn uncertainty.
12:45:30
Arrival Airport
13:18:04
12:54:37
12:35:47
12:58:22
12:20:03
W3 W4
Top of Climb
12:04:18
W5
W2
Current uncertainty for Top of Climb and
Top of Descent prediction by ground Air Traffic
Control can be up to 100 Nautical Miles.
i4D can reduce uncertainty by 90%.
Waypoints
W1
Top of Climb
Departure Airport
11:13:40
08 FAST#60
uncertainty with i4D
uncertainty without i4D
Air Traffic Management modernisation programmes
Expected benefits:
• Reduction of aircraft delays by using ATC enhanced tools (better aircraft
trajectory prediction, enhanced conflict detection…)
• Reduction of fuel burn / CO2 emissions and noise (flying optimum trajectories
including continuous climb and descent operations)
• Increase of capacity due to better predictability of ATC sectors load, enabling
a reduction of ATC margins while maintaining safety
#03
Editorial
line
Airbus Brand Manual 2014
Trajectory prediction
and conflict detection
improved thanks to
initial-4D function
Longitudinal
uncertainty
with i4D
without i4D
Area of possible conflict
is reduced (solid dark blue
compared to dotted line)
thanks to accurate
and reliable projection
provided with i4D
Airbus and partners of the European ATM modernisation programme SESAR
have been working on the research and prototyping phase of i4D, with initial
demonstrations and flight trials performed in 2012 to validate the concept. The next
step will be the full validation of the function in a real environment. This will be possible
thanks to the very large-scale demonstrations planned in 2018/2019 with commercial
revenue aircraft exchanging data with the Air Navigation Services of UK (NATS),
Germany (DFS), Italy (ENAV) and Maastricht-controlled area (MUAC). As planned
by the SESAR Pilot Common Project, this function will be fully operational in 2025
on nearly half of the European flights.
Outside Europe, Airbus has recently signed a contract with Chinese partners
to promote the i4D technology. It is planned that in 2019, a China Southern Airlines
A320neo equipped with i4D capable systems will fly in Chinese airspace with an
i4D-equipped Air Traffic Control (ATC) centre.
i-4D, Introducing a new
dimension of flight
Further cooperation concerning i4D technology is being explored with other ATM
world partners.
Using the Initial-4D function to support trajectory-based operations is foreseen
as a game changer in Air Traffic Management, with an impact on aircraft systems
limited to software upgrade.
Operational benefits will get stronger as the ATC ground systems progressively
extend use of data from the flight planning phase to arrival traffic sequencing.
09 FAST#60
Video
2
Air Traffic Management modernisation programmes
Light
3
Medium
Bold
Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS)
Expected benefits:
The Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) is a safety-critical system
that augments the Global Positioning System (GPS) and provides enhanced
levels of service that support all phases of approach, landing and departure.
GBAS overcomes some Instrument Landing System (ILS) challenges and
meets the more demanding needs of the future in a more cost-efficient way.
4
• GBAS provides a cost-efficient
solution, since only one ground
station is needed to service multiple
approaches to all runways at an
airport and requires less maintenance
and flight inspection compared
with ILS.
The function on board Airbus aircraft called GBAS Landing System (GLS)
respects an ‘ILS look-alike’ concept. It means that the pilots fly these
approaches with the same type of Human Machine Interface in the cockpit
as conventional ILS approaches.
Most Airbus aircraft types have been certified for existing GBAS CAT I
operations.
• GBAS-optimised low visibility
operations primarily address busy
airports which have capacity
limitations, as they need smaller
protection zones than with ILS.
The SESAR programme has validated the development of GBAS to support
low visibility operations (so-called CAT II/III).
• GBAS advanced procedures can
directly support airports seeking
to address noise issues and to use
efficient arrival paths.
• With the ILS look-alike concept,
no additional flight crew training
is required.
GPS
constellation
With regard to airports, GBAS advanced
operations based on increased glide
slopes and Multiple Runway Aiming
Points are expected to:
Fina
l Ap
proa
ch S
egm
FAS &
corrections
ent
• Reduce runway occupancy times and
lower the risk of wake vortex encounter
problems, due to displaced runway
thresholds
(FAS
)
• Increase runway throughput in low
visibility conditions and adverse
weather conditions by supporting
reduced spacing on final approach
VHF
• Reduce noise concerns in the vicinity
of airports through GBAS increased
glide slopes and curved approaches
GBAS ground station at airport
Increased Glide Slope
Ma
x.
IGS
Conv
S
pro
ced
ention
10 FAST#60
IG
(4.
49
ure
°)
al Glid
e Slo
Noise benefit
pe
Multiple Runway Aiming Points
MR
Con
AP
ven
tion
al G
lide
Noise benefit
pro
ced
Slo
pe
ure
3
Air Traffic Management modernisation programmes
Light
4
Medium
Bold
Airport Surface Indicating and Alerting (SURF-IA)
Runway incursions are a major hazard with around 2 occurrences a day
in Europe. Most of these events could be avoided by providing flight crews
with relevant information to make the right decision in a timely manner.
Expected benefits:
Runway Incursion Traffic Alert is a safety net which provides both an aural alert
and an intuitive visual cue in the primary field of view of each pilot. It is visible
whatever the situation in the vicinity of the runway.
• Being primarily designed to prevent
high speed collisions with another
aircraft or vehicle, Runway Incursion
Traffic Alert constitutes a major safety
enhancement in surface operations.
It requires Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) In data
(position, ground speed, altitude, direction) from aircraft or other vehicles in
the vicinity, as well as airport runway data. No infrastructure or interaction
with ground is required.
ALERT
SAFETY
• The prevention of situations of collision
or quasi-collisions will also contribute to
reducing the disruption of operations.
Lining up
Runway Incursion Traffic Alert is a safety
net which provides both an aural alert
and an intuitive visual cue in the primary
field of view of each pilot.
ALERT
short final
ALERT
Starting take-off run
Multiple Runway Aiming Point
ATM modernisation is underway with key players, including Airbus, actively participating in both
Ma and develop­ment programmes around the world and in the industrialisation of new airborne
research
x.
IGrequired by ATM concepts, enabling safer operations in the future.
capabilities
S
(4.
MR
IGS
49 is to accelerate the transition to a performance-based ATM,
Aallowing
p
Pp
The overall
operators
roc objective
°)
Con
roc
edu
v
eBest
e
re
d
to fly their preferred
trajectories. Airbus thereby supports the inclusion ofnt‘Best
Equipped
ure Served’
ion
Glid practices (such as
Conv operational incentives within the new ATM concepts in order to make currentalATC
ention
eS
al G
lop instructions)
altitude
constraints,
holding stacks, tactical vectoring, time and fuel consuming open-loop
lide S
e
lope
the exception.
Noise benefit
Noise benefit
Airbus is also urging for worldwide interoperability of the new ATM concepts in order to coordinate
aircraft development, and enable seamless flight around the world.
11 FAST#60
CONCLUSION
Increased Glide Slope
RSC traceability
Removable Structural Components
Article by
Marc BOZZOLO
Business Development Manager
Maintenance Programmes Engineering
AIRBUS
marc.bozzolo@airbus.com
Removable Structural Components (RSC) – such as doors,
flaps, slats – may be transferred between aircraft, resulting in
a different utilisation profile than the airframe on which they were
originally installed. Controlling and/or tracking maintenance
requirements or limitations associated with these components
are essential to ensure continuing airworthiness management.
12 FAST#60
As the world fleet of aircraft grows and ages, movements
of RSCs are increasing. The industry has recognised that more
focus on the traceability of RSCs on and off the aircraft must
be brought to the attention of operators, MROs (Maintenance,
Repair and Overhaul organisations), suppliers and manufacturers
to satisfy continuing airworthiness.
RSC traceability
Traceability steps in the life cycle of components
The life monitoring and control
of these structural parts and their
instructions for continuing
airworthiness is a need, especially
when RSCs have been removed
from the first aircraft on which
they were installed. It ensures that
these parts meet their associated
mandated requirements and
limitations, and ensures safe
operation.
Component
production
Design
Engineering
Production
Component
technical
justification
and limitations
- Component
service goal
justifications,
maintenance
requirements
and limitations.
Industrialisation/
production
- Component
identification,
marking and
production
tracking.
Concessions
if required
Data
Management
Tech
data
Delivery
Management
of associated
technical
documentation
- Technical
documentation
management
adapted to RSCs (AMM,
NTM, SB, SRM, ALS...).
Component
service life
Support
Support to operations
- New support or services
proposals on demand.
S
-
Repairs
Repairs
- RSC specificities
vs Repair limitations
considered.
R
-
Spares & out-ofproduction parts
Spares management
- Parts availability
and traceability
in case of used parts.
S
-
13 FAST#60
Some of these RSCs contribute
to the airworthiness of the aircraft.
Indeed, they may be subject to
mandatory requirements, such as
inspections, modifications, repairs
or any other limitation (i.e.: Flight
Cycles (FC), Flight Hours (FH)
or calendar, weighing, etc.).
ATA
Removable Structural Components
Main RSCs (high level assemblies) that Airbus recommends controlling
5450
Pylon assembly
Pylon to wing attachment links, pins and bearings
Pylon to engine mounts attachment spigot fitting assy (applicable to A380 only)
Rear secondary structure
5450
Aft pylon fixed fairing assembly
Aft pylon movable fairing assembly
Front pylon fairing assembly
5220
Emergency exit doors assembly
5230
Cargo compartment
doors assembly
5220
Escape hatch assembly
(A350 only)
5280
Centre landing gear doors
5310
Radome
5220
Emergency exit
doors assembly
5240
Avionics access doors
5280
Nose landing gear doors
5210
Passenger / crew
doors assembly
7110
Nose cowl / air intake
14 FAST#60
7110
Nacelle - fan cowls
7830
Thrust reverser structure assembly
5380
Tailcone
5530
Vertical stabiliser
5540
Rudder assembly
5230
Bulk cargo compartment
doors assembly
5520
Elevator assembly
5510
Horizontal stabiliser
assembly
5260
Entrance stair door
5750
Flaps
Flap track carriage
Flap track beam
5770
Spoilers
5760
Ailerons
5730
Wing tip, winglets, sharklets
5280
Main landing gear doors
(incl. leg fairing door)
assembly
7120
Forward engine mounts assembly
Rear engine mounts assembly
Engine mounts thrust link assembly
(Applicable to A380 and A350 only)
5740
Slats
Slats tracks
Droop nose assembly (A350 and A380 only)
Droop nose arms (A350 and A380 only)
Tracking recommended
Economical or logistical related
Some significant subassemblies do not contain
Flight Control System or Primary Structure Elements
but are routinely interchanged by operators.
Based on previous experience, it is preferable
to control these elements to ease their management.
No transfer permitted
without Airbus involvement
15 FAST#60
7810
Exhaust nozzle assembly
7820
Fan exhaust cowl assembly
(Applicable to A380 only)
RSC traceability
Current context of continuing airworthiness regulations
In accordance with applicable regulations, the continuing
airworthiness record system put in place for each individual
aircraft (including components installed) is an operator
responsibility.
For example, an operator may control an RSC:
• At aircraft level when RSCs follow the life of the aircraft
• At component level when an RSC follows a different life
than the aircraft it was initially installed on
Whatever recording system an operator puts in place,
the control of these RSCs is an essential element to meet
mandatory maintenance requirements such as inspections
or modifications, and/or component limitations such as repairs,
service goals or life limits.
16 FAST#60
An RSC can follow
a different life than
the aircraft on which
it was initially installed
Due to different approaches used by airworthiness authorities,
both operators and manufacturers have worked together
in different industrial forums.
The Airworthiness Assurance Working Group (AAWG) jointly
with the Airline for America (A4A)) issued ATA Spec 120
to provide recommendations and guidance to operators.
Mandated limitations (Airworthiness Directive (AD) and
Airworthiness Limitation Section (ALS)) are expressed at
component level. This implies controlling the component
parameters (Flight Cycles, Flight Hours, calendar, etc.)
and means the history records of RSCs versus mandated
requirements should be continuously maintained.
This was further confirmed by the EASA and FAA representatives
who contributed to the development of ATA Spec 120.
RSC traceability
Adapting RSC recording practices
The industry has now recognised that, in order to satisfy continuing airworthiness,
more focus on the traceability of RSCs must be brought to the attention of operators,
Maintenance Repair and Overhaul organisations, suppliers and manufacturers.
During Airbus structure task groups, as well as regional seminars and symposiums,
it was determined that the industry may need to adapt some of its recording practices,
especially in the frame of transfers of RSCs.
Airbus therefore launched a comprehensive exercise in order to tackle the main aspects
related to the traceability of RSCs, enhance its level of management and anticipate
operators’ needs for support.
A320 identification plate
New support, communications and deliverables are expected to result from this
exercise. For example:
• Airbus has identified the baseline RSC list (high level assemblies) recommended
for operator control, i.e.: doors, control surfaces, engine mounts, nacelles.
This will be published in the 4th quarter of 2017.
• Several In-Service Information (ISI) documents have been published by Airbus
to provide operators with a methodology and guidance to rebuild the life of
a component when its history has been partially or totally lost.
• New supports are being developed by Airbus to retrieve component data back
to its entry into service.
• The Repair Design Approval Sheet (RDAS) review process on RSCs is being
developed by Airbus.
• Airbus is further confirming the robustness of the component tracking chain
throughout the production line up to delivery to the customer.
CONCLUSION
The life cycle of a Removable Structural Component can be different from the life cycle of the aircraft
on which it was originally installed, which can lead to de-synchronisation of airworthiness checks.
The responsibility for the necessary RSC control and tracking is incumbent on the airline,
and to this end ATA Spec 120 was recently published to provide guidance to operators.
The recommended baseline list of RSC will be issued via an OIT.
17 FAST#60
Airbus has identified the baseline RSC list that is recommended for operator control, has issued
In-Service Information to provide operators with a method to rebuild the life of a component,
and can offer on-demand specific support.
Aquarius
Dealing with water in jet fuel
Ask any airline and they will say that the drainage
of water in their fuel tanks is one of the most costly
maintenance burdens they face.
Article by
Roy DEAN
Project Manager
AIRBUS
roy.r.dean@airbus.com
Why is water drainage a costly
maintenance burden?
• The aircraft is cold on landing and any free water* in the fuel tanks will be frozen.
Consequently, it cannot be drained until it has thawed. This increases aircraft
downtime, often overnight, in a heated hangar or using heating blankets or other
heat sources to accelerate the thawing process. Apron and hangar space is very
much in demand and costly.
• Drainage of water results in small quantities of a fuel-water mixture that has to be
disposed of by suitable means, which can be quite expensive.
• Whilst the aircraft is on the ground, it is not in the sky earning money!
Consequently anything that can reduce the cost of draining water or increase
the time between events is welcomed by airlines.
• Water can also lead to unwanted substances such as microbiological contamination,
which can require maintenance with biocides or even deep cleaning.
18 FAST#60
Some aircraft need draining more frequently than others, as specified in the AMM
or agreed with the airline’s local airworthiness organisation, dependent on the
environment of routes and fuel quality. It is possible to extend this interval if evidence
can be given to show that alternative means have been utilised.
* The term free water is used
to contrast with tiny proportion
of water that has been dissolved
into the fuel.
Aquarius
Where does water come from?
Water enters the aircraft tanks in two ways:
1000
100
10
0
0
20
40
60
80
100
Temperature / °C
• In-breathing. As the aircraft ascends, the pressure will decrease and the vapours
above the fuel in the tank will be expelled. As the fuel level decreases, the volume
above the fuel will be replaced by air, and as the aircraft descends, more air will enter
to fill the tank due to the reduced volume of vapours at the increased pressure.
Since this will usually involve descending through clouds, the air will be very humid
resulting in condensation and freezing on the cold surfaces inside the tank.
On thawing, this ice will add to the free water at the bottom of the tank.
Effects of water
As well as carrying unnecessary additional weight, the presence of free water
in the fuel tank is not good for a number of reasons.
• An excessive amount of water may intersect one or more of the capacitance
gauging probes resulting in ‘out of range’ gauging errors which at worst
may prevent dispatch of the aircraft.
• Water needs to be drained and disposed of, leading to increased maintenance
and downtime costs.
• Water will form ice on cooling and this ice may detach and may restrict or block
the fuel supply to the engine. (This was the cause of the B777 incident at Heathrow
in January 2008).
• Water may result in additional corrosion in the fuel tanks.
• The presence of water and fuel encourages the growth of microbiological
proliferation. In extreme cases this would have to be cleaned either by shock
biocide treatment or by manual in-tank cleaning.
19 FAST#60
Water solubility
in jet fuel
Concentration: parts-per-million by volume
• With the uplifted fuel. Filter water separators or filter monitors will reduce the free
water to low levels but the supplied fuel will contain dissolved water. In hot climates
this could be up to 100 parts-per-million (ppm). But as the ambient temperature
reduces in flight, the dissolved water will separate from the fuel-water solution
and become free water.
Aquarius
The solution:
Kerojet® Aquarius additive
INV
ERSE MICELL
E
Many aircraft are equipped with low-level suction pickups that
scavenge free water and feed it with the fuel to the engine but
there is still a residual amount of water to be dealt with.
Aquarius is an additive that has been developed to sequester
the free water into the fuel.
How does Aquarius work?
Aquarius binds the water molecule into the fuel using a ‘micelle’
(or molecular cage) rendering the water molecule physically inert.
Water
molecule
Kerojet® Aquarius will maintain the solubility of the dissolved water
in the aircraft fuel tanks down to the fuel’s freeze point.
In addition, the Aquarius micelle cannot bind salts, bacteria or other
contaminants that might usually be found in the water with the fuel,
only the water molecule itself. The normal dose rate of Kerojet®
Aquarius is 250ppm by volume and, depending on the type of fuel,
temperature and humidity levels can increase the solubility of water
to around 230ppm which is sufficient to handle the in-breathed
moisture even at low tank levels.
hydrophilic
(polar)
hydrophobic
(nonpolar)
ASTM D4054 Industry Fuel & Additive ‘clearing process’
NO
Tier 1
New fuel
or additive
for approval
testing
Test of
specification
properties
Tier 2
Fit for
purpose
testing
DATA REPORT
Tier 1 & 2
preliminary
report
OEM review
panel
Properties
acceptable
for engine/
aircraft
use
Phase 1 review
20 FAST#60
Note: Additives can also require specific equipment approval through each OEM (not shown)
Aquarius
Route to Approval of Kerojet® Aquarius
Aquarius was invented by Palox Ltd
and has been licensed to BASF, one of
the world’s leading chemical companies.
Palox have invested heavily in the testing
required by the American Society for
Testing & Materials (ASTM) D4054
process. This testing includes the usual
D1655 specification properties (density,
viscosity, etc.) and D4054 Fit-forpurpose properties. In addition several
tests have been carried out on engines
and Airbus has carried out extensive
testing looking at the accretion of ice
in cold fuel. Additionally Airbus has
carried out a confidence flight using
A340-600 flight test aircraft MSN360
to verify the calculations and rig test
observations.
The Airbus Corporate Innovation team has encouraged the development of Aquarius
since 2014, putting in place a Technical Co-operation Agreement to enable BASF
and Palox (the inventor) to submit Kerojet® Aquarius to the ASTM for approval as
an additive for jet fuel. Airbus has continued to support this project as it has
progressed through the various milestones and as new unforeseen requirements
have emerged. The project is now in its final stages with ASTM approval and an
anticipated final incorporation into the list of approved additives by early 2018.
Kerojet® Aquarius is at the stage where all Original Equipment Manufacturers
(including Airbus, Boeing, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, GE and Honeywell), should
read the D4054 research report summarising the results of all the test work and then
vote whether or not Aquarius should be included in the D1655 specification.
Currently, the OEMs are reviewing the report and submitting any questions/
comments. An ASTM subcommittee will then vote on approving the additive. If this
ballot is successful, a larger subcommittee will ballot its inclusion in the specification.
These ballots are anticipated before end of 2017.
BASF plan to introduce Kerojet® Aquarius to the market in a phased approach,
starting with an in-service evaluation with Lufthansa to confirm the performance of
the additive and optimise the dosing equipment.
Aquarius will be metered into the fuel at refuel hence each airport served will require
dosing equipment. BASF and Faudi* have developed a trailer-mounted dosing skid
which interfaces with the refuel bowser to ensure that the Kerojet® Aquarius is dosed
at the correct concentration.
*Dosing equipment
manufacturer
Revised
specifications
NO
Tier 4
Component/
rig/
materials
testing
Full
engine/
aircraft
testing
TESTING RECOMMENDATIONS
Final ASTM
research
report(s)
OEM review
panel
Fuel/
Additive
test results validate
suitability for
use on engines/
aircraft
Recommendation
for the Committee
to vote on
its inclusion
in the fuel
specification
Phase 2 review
21 FAST#60
Tier 3
Aquarius
What has been Airbus’s role?
Airbus was engaged in 2014 to investigate the effect of Aquarius on the threat of ice forming a certification requirement following the B777 incident at Heathrow in 2008 - and any other fuel
system level effects to support BASF conducting an in-service evaluation and to support the
ASTM process for approval of the additive.
Airbus was able to use its A330/A340 engine feed test rig at the fuel test facility at Airbus, UK.
This is an actual size replica of ribs 1-4 of an A330 wing and features genuine A330 feed pumps.
However, it is fabricated from steel and equipped with cooling facilities to allow its use under
vacuum, simulating elevation up to 43,000 feet and temperatures down to and beyond -40°C.
Several test runs were carried out using different concentrations of Aquarius and water to simulate
various operating conditions following temperature profiles typical of long haul flights. It became
clear that the use of Aquarius significantly improved the ice threat reducing the amount of ice
deposited on the cold surfaces - the increased amount of water remained in solution rather than
precipitating out as would occur without the use of Aquarius.
Whilst there was little doubt that Aquarius would not increase the threat of ice formation, a remark
by one of the rig operators, plus the observance of some white emulsions, led to further
investigation.
The operator, who had run many ice tests on this same test rig following the Heathrow crash,
noted that the rig was much cleaner and suggested that the surfactant* nature of Aquarius
had cleaned the test rig! Likewise, the formation of the emulsion was initially thought also to be
a result of the surfactancy*. This led to much further laboratory work which showed that the
emulsion formation was a result of the test method – at the end of the test most of the fuel and any
liquid water is drained off and then any deposited ice is allowed to thaw, resulting in a mixture which
is excessively high in water content. Laboratory tests have proved that this accumulation of
emulsion only occurred in a radically out-of-balance mixture which is excessively high in water, of
the order of 50% water, which would never happen in-service. In flight, the water content is unlikely
to exceed 250ppm (0.025%). In addition, measurements of the key transport properties of the
emulsion have shown that they are no different to that of fuel or water.
*Also called: surface-active agent,
a substance such as a detergent,
that can reduce the surface tension
of a liquid and thus allow it to foam
or penetrate solids; a wetting
agent.
The remark about the cleaning of the test rig also needed investigation. Palox Ltd showed by theory
that Aquarius could not act as a cleaning fluid. The rig operator explained that in previous
campaigns the test rig needed cleaning every 5 or 6 tests due to build-up of microbial
contamination and other interfacial debris due to the presence of free water. In the case of
the Aquarius tests, the rig started and remained clean throughout the programme. This supported
the observation that the use of Kerojet® Aquarius reduces the likelihood of microbial growth.
22 FAST#60
A trailer-mounted
dosing skid which
interfaces with the
refuel bowser to
ensure that Aquarius
is dosed at the correct
concentration.
Aquarius
Flight evaluation
The original plan was to perform the in-service evaluation with Lufthansa using two
A340-600 over a 6-month period of revenue service. However, in order to achieve
this, airframe, equipment and engine suppliers would have to undertake a risk
assessment and give clearance.
As a result of their own previous engine tests and hearing of the cleaning effect/
emulsions, the engine manufacturer required more evidence to support revenue flights
with an unapproved additive. Consequently it was agreed to undertake some flight
testing using an Airbus flight test aircraft, MSN360 rather than revenue flights - these
will follow after ASTM approval.
A series of ground tests were carried out using Aquarius at four times the normal
dosage to investigate the possible cleaning effect. There was concern that
the Aquarius dosed fuel would release any dirt and debris that may have accumulated
in the aircraft fuel tanks. An internal inspection was carried out before and after
the circulation and ground engine runs (Rejected Take Off tests). One wing was fuelled
with Jet A-1 dosed with Aquarius while the remaining wing’s fuel did not contain
the additive. Samples were taken from the water drain valves for laboratory analysis
and particle counting. Since no increase in contamination was observed from
the particle counting (dirt etc), a test flight was carried out over a 3-hour period.
This featured the routine tests carried out in all flight test programmes (such as engine
relight and gravity flow tests*). No difference was detected between the dosed and
un-dosed wings. A final internal inspection showed no evidence of cleaning or of the
formation of lasting emulsions. It was agreed that the flight test demonstrated that the
concerns over cleaning and emulsion formation were unfounded.
A bonus from the flight test
BASF/Faudi took their dosing equipment
to Airbus, France and were able to identify
some minor improvements before going to
a commercial operation with a flight test
using the Aquarius dosed fuel.
*Engine relite, routine procedure
carried out in flight test programmes
involves switching off one of the engines
in mid-air and switching it on again.
Gravity flow tests check the flow
of fuel without pump at different
altitudes and angles
CONCLUSION
Water in fuel tanks is a regular and costly maintenance burden for airlines. On freezing
at altitude, this can even become a safety issue.
A new jet fuel additive named Kerojet® Aquarius is being developed that allows free water
at the bottom of fuel tanks to be absorbed by the fuel, then expelled through the engines.
23 FAST#60
Aquarius has performed well on a test rig and in full engine/aircraft testing. The research
report is now being analysed by OEMs before a final ballot. If the ballot goes through, Airbus
and engine/APU suppliers would then be able to add Aquarius to the Consumable Materials
List (CML) before using it on aircraft.
eQRH
making the paperless
cockpit a reality
electronic Quick Reference Handbook
Pilots used to be seen carrying a heavy flight bag on board
each time they flew. Then came digital transformation which
drastically reduced technical documentation and changed
their ways of working.
24 FAST#60
Today, the last step of digital transformation has been reached
with the introduction of the electronic QRH (eQRH)
in the cockpit.
Article by
Jaouad BERRAJAA
eQRH Project Leader
AIRBUS
jaouad.berrajaa@airbus.com
eQRH
Why go digital?
To appreciate the main advantages of digital documentation over paper
documentation, consider how a simple update to the Flight Operations manuals
used to be done.
Before digitalisation, Airbus used to print, prepare, and ship tons of paper documents
at each update of the Flight Operations manuals and for each Airbus aircraft.
The airline had to receive, prepare and update this paper documentation on each
operated aircraft, for potentially hundreds of aircraft and thousands of pilots.
Compare this laborious, costly, and risk-ridden method to the automated, instant,
free, digital updates sent to the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB). And updates are only
the beginning of the advantages of digitalisation; cockpit operations are also
significantly enhanced: searching is instant rather than having to thumb through
hundreds of pages, and hyperlinks direct pilots to relevant sections.
Information is now given on a need-to-know basis.
Timeline of paperless cockpit operation on Airbus aircraft
2005
A380
2010
2015
A400M
A350
2020
A320
A330
A340
Moving standards from paper to digital
across the fleet
Digitalisation of Flight Operations documentation is being adopted across all Airbus
families, the more recent families having already integrated it from the start.
Back in the 1980s, A320 and A330/A340 families were initially designed with a Flight
Operations standard based on the use of paper documentation. Then, in the 1990s,
Airbus started the transformation of most of this paper documentation into an
electronic format.
In 2005, Airbus implemented a new standard of Flight Operations on the A380.
This standard was based on the use of electronic devices, namely EFB and ECAM
(explained below) to compute aircraft performance, browse operational documentation
and manage the flight. The A380 Flight Operations standard enhanced the cockpit
Flight Operations and enabled significant cost savings in the management of the Flight
Operations documentation. This same standard was then adopted for the Airbus
A400M and A350.
More recently, Airbus has introduced further enhancements to the A320 and A330/
A340 families’ electronic documentation to be closer to the A380 and A350 standard.
In fact, until end of 2016, most of the operational documentation of the A320 and
A330/A340 families could be displayed and used on an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB).
However, one operational document remained in paper format: The Quick Reference
Handbook (QRH).
The flight crews use this document to check aircraft operations in normal situations.
They also use it to manage some abnormal situations that are not monitored by the
Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitoring (ECAM).
In order to implement a paperless operational standard on A320 and A330/A340
families, with full electronic documentation, the QRH can now be managed in a new
EFB application: The electronic Quick Reference Handbook (eQRH).
25 FAST#60
2000
eQRH
Flight Operations standards on A350 and A380
The Flight Operations standard on the A350 and A380 is based on the use
of electronic devices in the cockpit, instead of paper, as follows:
• The Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) provides the flight crew with:
- Performance applications to compute the aircraft loadsheet and performance
in take-off, cruise and landing
- A browser to access the Flight Operations documentation,
e.g. Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM), Flight Crew Techniques
Manual (FCTM), Minimum Equipment List (MEL)
-Mission data, e.g. flight plan, navigation charts, flight folder
• The checklists and procedures are managed on an avionic system:
the ECAM. This system displays to the flight crew the normal checklists
and abnormal / emergency procedures. The flight crew can interact with
this system in order to manage these checklists and procedures.
The ECAM system is part of the aircraft definition and is therefore part
of the aircraft certification.
A slim paper Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) is used for a very limited number
of critical or specific procedures such as smoke-related procedures and emergency
evacuation.
The use of an EFB on A350 and A380 provides significant benefits in the cockpit
operations and in the management of Flight Operations documentation.
The flight crew benefits from many smart features, such as:
• Enhanced documentation consultation thanks to the search function,
the contextual access, the interactive display, the use of hyperlinks,
coloured and more comprehensive illustrations, bookmarks, etc.
• Integration of the EFB applications. For example, in case of an aircraft system
failure, the performance applications can automatically take into account
the corresponding performance penalties and provide the crew with the relevant
performance computation for the take-off, cruise and landing.
Not only the flight crew on board the aircraft benefit from this new standard
of operations, but it also provides significant savings to the airlines in terms of time,
logistics and cost to manage the documentation.
The documentation updates are provided on the AirbusWorld portal and the operators
can customise this documentation thanks to comprehensive electronic tools such
as ADOC or FODM. Finally, the electronic documentation can be dispatched wirelessly
to the flight crew tablets/laptops or to the aircraft. This electronic process replaces
paper printing, thus reducing the preparation and distribution costs, and enhancing
the ecological footprint of Airbus and operators.
26 FAST#60
On the A380 and A350, checklists and
procedures are available in the ECAM
eQRH
Initial Flight Operations standard on A320,
A330/A340 families
A320 and A330/A340 families were initially designed with a Flight Operations standard
based on the use of paper documentation. Then, as laptops and tablets became
standard in the 1990s and 2000s, most of the Flight Operations data was transformed
from printed manuals to electronic operational documentation in Airbus’ pioneering
EFB product: the Less Paper Cockpit (LPC). This first step of digitalisation included:
• Loadsheet computation
• Take-off and landing performance computation
• The Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM) and the Master Minimum Equipment
List (MMEL) in an electronic format
27 FAST#60
Finally, after the development of eDOC concept (XML data) on A380 in the 2000s,
Airbus generalised this concept on A320 and A330/A340 families with the ‘Less Paper
Cockpit - New Generation’ (LPC-NG) and later with ‘FlySmart with Airbus’ on Windows
and iPad. These Airbus EFB products brought the Flight Operations standard on A320
and A330/A340 families closer to the A350 and A380. However, the management of
the checklists and non-ECAM procedures remained in paper format inside the QRH.
eQRH
New Flight Operations Standard on A320, A330/A340 families
Airbus then launched a study in 2015 to digitalise the A320 and A330/A340 QRH, being the
last paper document onboard these aircraft. The ambition was to get rid of the paper QRH
and to provide flight crew with a smart way to electronically manage checklists and procedures,
with two main objectives:
• Enhance cockpit operations compared to the paper QRH
• Alleviate the process for the operators to manage the QRH document
The ECAM of the A320 and A330/A340 families could not be upgraded in the short or mid-term
to replace the paper QRH as the ECAM is a certified system with a long development cycle
inherent to avionics systems. In addition, the current A320 and A330/A340 ECAM technologies
are not compatible with such an industrial step. The solution was therefore to replace the paper
QRH operations in the cockpit by an EFB application.
Airbus developed a demonstrator for iPad tablets to assess the feasibility of the concept.
Thorough testing was conducted by flight test and training expert pilots, Human Factors experts
and flight operations engineers. The European and American aviation authorities (EASA & FAA)
were also involved in this assessment to ensure alignment from a regulation standpoint.
These assessments, evaluations and discussions with the aviation authorities were conclusive
and resulted in the launch of the definition of a new Flight Operations concept on A320 and A330/
A340 families: a cockpit with no paper. This new concept is based on the following:
• As on the A350 and A380, the FlySmart applications are used by the flight crew:
- To compute the aircraft loadsheet and performance in all the flight phases
(take-off, cruise, and landing)
- To access the Flight Operations documentation (FCOM, FCTM, MEL, etc.)
- To manage the mission (flight plan, navigation charts, flight folder)
• The EFB includes a new application that enables the electronic management of the checklists
and non-ECAM procedures: the electronic QRH (eQRH).
The ambition was to define and validate the first concept of paperless cockpit (no paper) operations
worldwide: the eQRH was on its way.
Double-layer display mechanism
In a normal operation (left), both the main
layer and secondary layer are perfectly aligned, whereas spurious loss of data or spurious
errors result in a misalignment of displayed data that is easily detectable by the flight crew.
The error to the right illustrates the loss of one challenge/response line in the ‘main layer’.
LDG GEAR
UP
LDG GEAR
FLAPS
RETRACTED
FLAPS
PACKS
PACKS
ON
PACKS
BARO REF
28 FAST#60
BARO REF
// END
SET (BOTH)
Normal operation display
BARO REF
// END
eQRH
How the eQRH concept was developed
Challenges and objectives of the eQRH concept:
• Developing the eQRH concept presented a few serious challenges:
- Regulation aspects: A specific assessment had to be performed to demonstrate
to the EASA and the FAA that the eQRH met the requirements of the applicable
regulation. The main objective was to demonstrate that the eQRH operations were
at least equivalent to paper QRH operations in terms of ‘reliability, accessibility, and
usability’ (EASA AMC 20-25 and FAA AC 120-76 C requirements).
- Specific cockpit operations for the eQRH compared to other EFB applications:
Most of the EFB operations rely on the use of the applications by both flight crew
members and on the crosscheck to ensure a high reliability of the displayed information
and results. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of Airbus define two roles
in the cockpit: the Pilot Flying (PF) who is in charge of flying the aircraft, and the Pilot
Monitoring (PM) who is in charge of actively monitoring the flight parameters.
The QRH operation is therefore based on a single pilot use: the Pilot Monitoring (PM)
reads the procedures and checklists in the QRH while the Pilot Flying (PF) either
checks the aircraft status or performs the requested actions.
This specific method of operation means that the eQRH cannot rely on crosschecks
to ensure the reliability of the displayed information. This operational constraint required
a solution to ensure a high level of reliability of the displayed information.
- QRH content: This was adapted to paper operations and part of it was therefore
not fully compatible with electronic display and operations.
• The eQRH had to respond to the following objectives:
- Enhance cockpit operations thanks to electronic devices and ensure commonality
of operations on all Airbus aircraft families
- Ease the management of QRH updates without affecting savings.
Therefore, the eQRH had to be compatible with the existing ground administration
and update tools of the EFB
- Avoid printing and shipping tons of paper every year
Finding the solution
To achieve these objectives, and to meet the challenges, the eQRH implements
some new, innovative and smart features. For example, the eQRH includes
the following:
Reliability of the displayed information
RETRACTED
ON
ON
SET (BOTH)
SET (BOTH)
Spurious erroneous display
The eQRH display is based on a double-layer mechanism that enables the crew
to detect spurious erroneous display of the data. In normal operations, both layers
are displayed but only the main layer is visible to the crew. The secondary layer
is perfectly hidden behind this main layer.
Airbus demonstrated that spurious loss of data or spurious errors in the displayed
data cannot coherently impact both layers. A shift between the two layers is easily
detectable by the flight crew in this case and pilots are trained to use backup means
(e.g. opposite pilot device or additional device in the cockpit) to continue the flight.
Airbus submitted a patent on this mechanism.
29 FAST#60
UP
eQRH
The lighter, easier-to-use,
automatically updated
eQRH application
gradually replaces
the printed handbook
Airbus aircraft commonality
The eQRH benefits from the design of the A350 and A380 ECAM. Whenever
applicable, the eQRH implements the same display, colour coding, and logics
as the A350 and A380 ECAM. It remains also consistent with the A320 and
A330/A340 ECAM. The eQRH is therefore fully in line with the Airbus cockpit
philosophy.
New display features to ease operations
Some smart display features are included in the eQRH application, such as:
• The smart search function that displays only the procedures or checklists
that contain the searched word in their title.
• The shaded display of non-applicable exclusive conditions.
The QRH content was also reviewed for the A320 and A330/A340 families to
make it fully compatible with electronic display and operations. The objective
was to keep only the ‘need to know’ information and to have an ECAM-like
layout in the eQRH.
For example:
• The explanations that are not required for an immediate execution of the
procedures were removed. This information is kept in the FCOM/FCTM for
the crew to understand the procedural steps and intent, if necessary and
when time permits.
30 FAST#60
• The classification of the abnormal chapter of the QRH was reviewed to
reference aircraft systems rather than ATA chapters. This provides more
pilot-oriented information.
• The performance section was set as applicable to paper QRH only. As the
eQRH is meant to be associated with electronic performance computation,
this section is therefore not displayed by the eQRH.
• Hyperlinks were added in the procedures where reference to another
procedure or operational data is provided.
From paper to electronic
eQRH
Accessibility
A rapid access mechanism is always
displayed to the flight crew to enable
quick access to some critical
procedures like the Emergency
Evacuation.
This mechanism demonstrates to the
aviation authorities that the access to
these specific procedures is even
faster than in paper operations.
The eQRH application and content went through extensive evaluations and
validations, with Airbus flight test pilots, Training expert pilots and Human Factors
experts, in order to ensure a mature, operational and user-centric concept
of operations.
In addition, Airbus involved end-users from four airlines in the development of
the eQRH: Brussels Airlines, easyJet, South African Airways and Smart Lynx
Airlines. These airlines provided Airbus with very useful feedback that was taken
into account in the eQRH application.
Finally, the eQRH was evaluated by the European (EASA) and the American
(FAA) aviation authorities. Early 2017, both authorities provided their status
of satisfaction, respectively in the EASA Operational Evaluation Board (OEB)
Report and in the FAA Operational Suitability Letters (OSL). Airbus also validated
the eQRH application with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
Having received validation by the aviation authorities, eQRH has been available
since March 2017 and has already been delivered to over 90 customers so far.
Link to the EASA
OEB report
*GLOSSARY
ECAM - Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitoring
MEL - Minimum Equipment List
EFB - Electronic Flight Bag
OEB - Operational Evaluation Board
eQRH - electronic Quick Reference Handbook
OSL - Operational Suitability Letter
FCOM - Flight Crew Operating Manual
PF - Pilot Flying
FCTM - Flight Crew Techniques Manual
PM - Pilot Monitoring
FODM - Flight Ops Documentation Manager
QRH - Quick Reference Handbook
LPC - Less Paper Cockpit
SOP - Standard Operating Procedures
LPC-NG - Less Paper Cockpit – New Generation
CONCLUSION
The eQRH provides a new Flight Operations standard, moving to full electronic Flight Operations.
The eQRH is available today on the A320 and A330/A340 families. It is gradually being deployed
on all Airbus commercial and military aircraft, including the next Airbus helicopter: The H160.
31 FAST#60
As a long term objective, it will be upgraded to enable the management of other aircraft
manufacturers’ QRHs.
Fleet-wide systems
maintenance
Priorities and status at a glance
Article by
Pascal CHABRIEL
Field Service Manager
AIRBUS
pascal.chabriel@airbus.com
Nicolas ANDRE
Subject Matter Expert
AIRBUS
nicolas.n.andre@airbus.com
Operators need to manage and follow up on numerous fault
messages and maintenance tasks with different priorities
across their fleet. Managing the sheer volume of tasks,
deciding how to prioritise them and following up on each
one’s status requires time and organisation.
32 FAST#60
Close on-site collaboration between an operator and its local
Airbus field service team resulted in an automated process
contributing to a significant improvement of the Operational
Reliability.
Fleet-wide systems maintenance
The challenge for Maintenance Control Centres (MCC)
and fleet management
If too many repeat issues are left unattended for too long, there is an increasing
risk of combined failures and operational disruptions. Tracking down every fault
message assists in keeping an optimal OR. This is the permanent challenge for
an airline’s Maintenance Control Centre (MCC) which needs to monitor its fleet
and ensure all these faults are properly managed in a timely manner.
Nowadays, MCC teams have to cope with stringent aircraft schedules, short
transit times and aircraft operating away from the main base. At the same time,
the fleet may generate system fault messages which have different priorities,
inducing maintenance work in various statuses. In addition, with teams working
on shifts, engineers may not always have a complete overview of fleet health.
The accumulation of all these conditions makes it difficult for an MCC to achieve
its task.
Operational Reliability (OR)
OR is the percentage of revenue flights which depart and arrive without incurring
a delay. This is an indication of an aircraft’s profitability and a driver of passenger
satisfaction. Achieving the highest Operational Reliability is therefore a priority,
both for airlines and for Airbus. It is computed as follows:
OR% = ( 1 DY = Delay
CN = Cancellation
DY + CN + IFTB + DV
TO rev
IFTB = In flight Turn Back
DV = Diversion
) x 100
TO rev = Revenue Take-Off
Enhancing Operational Reliability:
The Qantas/Airbus cooperation
Together, Qantas and Airbus developed a plan to enhance the Operational
Reliability of the Qantas A380 fleet. One action was to integrate an Airbus Field
Service Representative (FSR) - see insert - into the Qantas MCC to optimise
fault management processes.
Following an auditing period during which the FSR worked alongside the MCC
engineers, the outcome showed that the MCC was struggling with tracking fleet
fault messages and managing the associated maintenance work. An automated
process seemed an ideal solution to optimise the task.
Airbus Field Service
The frontline contact for customers
Mission:
• Maintain high customer satisfaction
• Represent Airbus Customer Services to all levels of the airline
• Identify the airline’s technical priorities and other operational needs
• Provide 24-hour technical assistance and AOG support
• Maintain highest level of customer relationship
• Ensure feedback to Airbus
33 FAST#60
• Facilitate at Entry-Into-Service
Fleet-wide systems maintenance
The Fault & Work Management (FWM) concept
The MCC workflow was first translated into a process whereby the ‘life’ of a fault and
its associated work were broken down into a series of statuses. This process provided
a second level of prioritisation in addition to the classification of the fault messages.
Workflow management process
Work
launched
Fault
occurs
Work
Status
Work
assigned
Work
done
Fault
fixed
Review
Open
Assigned
Monitor
Closed
The fault needs
to be reviewed
A work has
to be launched
A work
is launched
MiS reference
is entered
The work is
planned
The fault
disappeared
The fault
disappeared
A target date
is defined
Monitor during
15 flights
Monitor during
15 flights
Experience
capitalised
Fault
Message
Fault NOT RECEIVED in Post Flight Report
Fault RECEIVED in Post Flight Report
If the fault remains after the work is done
resume the process until the fault is fixed...
R
This process was transformed into an algorithm to develop a software solution
for implementation within the MCC. The programming language Visual Basic
and the platform Excel were chosen to develop a prototype, as they were readily
available on every workstation.
How the Fault & Work Management was applied
There were three basic requirements to meet the objectives of FWM:
- The application had to be fed with fault messages sent by the aircraft via
the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS).
This was achieved by connecting FWM to the AIRMAN-web database.
- Qantas maintenance information needed gathering. For this, an automatic routine
was created in the Qantas Maintenance Information System, which sent regular
updates maintenance actions and pilot reports to FWM.
- Last but not least, FWM had to work on a network so that all stakeholders
(MCC team members, fleet management, technical services…) could access
the data according to their profile. This was achieved by giving users access
to a shared FWM database installed on the Qantas network.
34 FAST#60
The FWM project involved teams from Airbus and Qantas, with support from their
respective programme and fleet management. The MCC and FSR teams collaborated
on the concept, design and development of the FWM application. The Qantas IT
department assisted with the network implementation and the interface with
the Maintenance Information System.
O
A
M
R
O
A
M
C
Fleet-wide systems maintenance
To ensure successful integration into the Qantas MCC A380 process, the HumanMachine Interface (HMI) was designed to fulfil end-user requirements. As it was
developed in close cooperation with Qantas MCC teams, it was exactly adapted
to their needs:
• Intuitive Fault & Work Management
• All information available in a single display
• One-click access to all functionalities
Customisation
Intuitive
Fault & Work
management
dashboard
Workflow
management
Fault
prioratisation
Fleet Sweep
Work
Fault & Effect Messages
?
Synchro
12 3
AM
Review Open
ECAM Warning
Assign Monitor
Class 1
(Cockpit effect)
Closed Ignore
Class
Minor
Class 4
Class 3
(Cabin)
Timer > 600 FH
Class 5
Class 0
(Unknown effect)
Message
Occurence
Pending
Cockpit
Class 6
(Minor)
Priority > Low
Timer
&
Priority
History
Live
?
Last
Event
Date
Aircraft
Fuel
SATCOM PWS
G H IJ K L M N
29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 38
SCS
APU
O P Q R S T U V
44 45 46 49 52 7i 8i 9i
PCU
Hyd filter NSS
2121F3K1
5
FAN-RECIRC HP 4LD RH(300HG4)
VH-OQC
2328F3M4
6
HDM-SATCOM 1(79RV1)
VH-OQE
2328F3M4
6
HDM-SATCOM 1(79RV1)
VH-OQE
2474F2MF
0
DIR-CIDS 3(100RH3)
SPDB 1
8787. 7878787878.
28-Apr-16
R
VH-OQE
2610F0EG
4
DIR-CIDS 3(100RH3)
SDF0
609FH
1111. 1111111111.
28-Apr-16
VH-OQE
5271F2N4
5
DIR-CIDS 3(100RH3) / AFDX NETWORK
DSMS0
LOW
8888. 8888888118.
VH-OQE
2851F2NV
5
P/BSW-FUEL /CROSSFEED 4(2804YM)
HIGH
Status S Reference
Date
Information
88. 111888. 888888 29-Apr-16
R
(FWD)1
SATCOM 1
88. 288888. 888888 30-Apr-16
I
BS NO ACTION
25-Dec-16
IGNORE
SATCOM 1
2526. . 2526262622 30-Apr-16
I
BS NO ACTION
25-Dec-16
IGNORE
M
BrSa T00AAOAN
29-Apr-16
28-Apr-16
M
BrSa T00AAOAN
29-Apr-16
2222. 22 22222222 30-Apr-16
R
HIGH
EOMS 1
One click access
to flight report
Bleed leak
Work
VH-OQC
VCS 1
Quick Views
All 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Code
( 15 Sectors )
ATA
Fleet A B C D E F
Aircraft
One click access to engineering,
maintenance and tech log information
Source
One Off
Att.
getter
Toolbox
Workflow
Automatic
process stamp signature
REFER PREVIOUS T00A9D7Z 22APR16
Work information
(knowledge database
building)
All follow-up
information
provided in
one single
display
The advantages of using Fault & Work Management
Once implemented, the FWM application was quickly adopted by the MCC teams
as it provided more efficiency and capacity inside their teamwork environment.
The FWM concept allows constant monitoring of work over time and across MCC shifts.
This concept also optimises work planning and prevents duplication. The filtering
dashboard enables MCC engineers to ‘sweep’ the fleet fault messages faster
and tackle them proactively according to priority. It was not long before the number
of open fault messages over the fleet was reduced and consequently kept down
to a manageable level.
The FWM concept fulfils the airline fleet management business objectives by
enhancing the management of maintenance actions and by reducing unnecessary
component removals and maintenance burdens. Above all, it enables increased
focus on fleet health and ultimately reduces the risk of operational disruption events,
hence assisting in maintaining an optimum Operational Reliability.
35 FAST#60
Fleet sweep
process
Fleet-wide systems maintenance
Moving forward with fleet management
On top of the fleet-sweeping feature, which enables better tracking and efficient
management of issues, the FWM concept raises another question: How can
capitalising on experience be made easier for airlines?
Simplicity and efficiency - the keys to success
Capitalising on experience is a key aspect to improving operations, but remains
complex to put in place and hard to maintain up-to-date. The main reason is the
human factor. Indeed, the task of logging experience can be seen as a short-term
waste of time if there is no direct added value or if it requires extra effort.
Knowledge is spread throughout the whole maintenance organisation, from
mechanics and engineers to the MCC; however, information may not be stored
or it may be long to retrieve. This results in investigations and decisions relying
exclusively on the experience of the maintenance team on duty, as opposed to
relying on the accumulated knowledge from the whole maintenance organisation.
Experience may be available from different sources such as spreadsheets, locally
developed applications, Maintenance Information Systems (MIS) or software such as
AIRMAN-web. Unfortunately, there is no link between all these sources of information
and no way to easily correlate both faults and work experience or to easily log
experience.
In the case of the FWM concept, a direct benefit for end-users of the ‘log experience’
function is that it facilitates their work with a direct and rapid positive impact.
Skywise is Airbus’ open aviation
digital platform, aiming at centralising
and analysing data coming from
the whole aviation ecosystem.
Skywise provides a robust and
secured infrastructure coupled with
best-in-class analytical environ­ments
and tools to explore and visualise
data. Some of the world’s most
innovative airlines are already
benefiting from the platform to
support their cross-do­main digital
operations (Maintenance, Flight
Operations, Fleet manage­ment,
Material management, Cabin,
Passenger management, etc.).
The first steps
The FWM concept success story with Qantas and the interest raised by the airline
community have placed these principles at the core of future developments.
Now that the concept has been proven with a customer, Airbus is preparing it for
the market and is considering further opportunities to propose new ways to improve
fleet performance.
Airbus believes that, in order to bring more efficiency, such a capability must be
integrated into daily software where experience can be shared and accessed by
the whole maintenance organisation. In addition, such a concept could easily be
extended to cover the MCC activities with real-time data to ease decision-making.
FLEET SWEEP ?
1
2
3
A
M
WORK STATUS ?
R O A M C I
EVENT RANK ?
W L 1 0 4 5
2
3
A
M
WORK STATUS ?
R O A M C I
EVENT RANK ?
W L 1 0 4 5
2 3 G P
OCCURENCE ?
ONE OFF LIVE
2 3 G P
OCCURENCE ?
ONE OFF LIVE
FLEET SWEEP ?
1
36 FAST#60
The ‘Work Status’, the ‘Event Rank’
and the ‘Occurrence’ contribute to the prioritisation.
Fleet-wide systems maintenance
11:22 AM John DOE
FLEET SWEEP ?
2
3
A
M
WORK STATUS ?
R O A M C I
EVENT RANK ?
W L 1 0 4 5
FUEL SCS IPCU SATCOM APU HDYFDS PWS BL NSS
44 EVENTS & WORKS
OCCURENCE ?
ONE OFF LIVE
A/C
ATA
QUICK FILTERS ?
2 3 G P
A/C Type
ALL x
ALL x
ALL x
Search
A/C
CL
Title
History
Date
Status
FW-XXC
L
3451 - XLB
RH SIDE COCKPIT LOUDSPEAKER INDP
23-Feb
22:58
R
FW-XXC
I
2051F736 - FQMS 2
PROBE-OUTER TANK RIGHT(42QT2)
4
1
8
8
23-Feb
22:58
FW-XXC
I
2051F73E - FQMS 2
PROBE-VENT TANK RIGHT(44QT2)
4
1
8
8
FW-XXC
I
3471F00G - AESS0
RTU-1(75E1) / AESU-1(15E1)
4
1
8
FW-XXC
I
3471F01M - AE550
AE5U-1(15E1)
4 2 1
2
FW-XXC
W
3471F01N - AE550
AE5U-2(15E2)
4 2 1
2
FW-XXC
P
Event - PRM
ENG 2 PRV SLOW TO CLOSE
4
Reference
Date
R
T0045WY
12-Feb
23-Feb
22:58
A
T000XY3M 25-Feb
Check wiring to probe.
88
23-Feb
22:58
O
TO0073XY
Check wiring RTU/AESU.
2
2
23-Feb
22:58
O
TO0073XY
Check wiring RTU/AESU.
2
2
23-Feb
22:58
O
TO0073XY
Check wiring RTU/AESU.
1
23-Feb
22:58
A
WO123456 25-Feb
Replace PRV
6
1
Information
Fault is still present after wiring check.
Replace probe.
Future possibilities
Airbus is now fine-tuning the concept with real-time data on A320 and A330 Family
aircraft, with the participation of a low-cost airline in October 2017.
The FWM concept is now taken as a basic principle of the next AIRMAN starting
definition that will also benefit from the Skywise platform (see insert).
The combination of both the Skywise digital platform capabilities, and the experience
that could be captured on over 7,300 aircraft, could leverage and accelerate
decision-making for MCCs by providing ‘Advice for Dispatch’ and ‘Possible Causes’
prioritisation to improve fleet performance management.
From the initial integration in the MCC and back office support, the concept will be
extended thanks to Skywise to other areas such as structural issues, predictive
events, logbook entries and servicing.
CONCLUSION
To help an operator manage fault messages and corresponding maintenance tasks
across its fleet, Airbus developed a fault and work management function, thanks to
a collaborative effort between the operator and the local Airbus field service team.
The result was an automated prioritisation process which has facilitated fleet tracking
for the operator and has contributed to significant Operational Reliability improvement.
This function also presents advantages for other voluminous MCC data management
areas such as structural issues, predictive events, logbook entries and servicing. It is now
destined to be integrated in Airbus’ AIRMAN and Skywise digital platforms, bringing even
greater capabilities for fleet management in the future.
37 FAST#60
1
FAST
from the past
There wouldn’t be any future
without the experience of the past.
A paperless cockpit?
38 FAST#60
Photo courtesy of Airbus Corporate Heritage
Almost 100 years ago, this Junkers F13 cockpit may have been ‘no paper’ - it was also ‘no electronics’!
The primary navigational instruments were simply an airspeed indicator, an altimeter, a clock, and a compass.
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39
43 FAST#60
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WE MAKE IT
FLY
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world of their own thanks to our
beautifully designed Airspace cabins.
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lighting, Airspace delivers first class
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only is it available across our newest
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family too.
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