Skywise Core is one of a number of packages Airbus offers. Skywise Digital Services includes Skywise
Predictive Maintenance, which analyzes maintenance
data and predicts failure probabilities; Skywise Reliability, which allows for fleet monitoring; and Skywise
Health Monitoring, the next generation of the Airman
tool, which provides real-time aircraft health monitoring. Skywise Connect, which includes, Fomax, enables
better analysis through data capture and collection capabilities.
Early in 2018, Airbus became a communications
virtual operator, allowing it to transmit massive data
from aircraft to the Skywise platform in more than 143
countries via secure 4G connectivity.
Japanese LCC Peach Aviation and Malaysia-based
LCC AirAsia also use Skywise, and Airbus is looking at
how the product could help lessors shorten the transition time of aircraft from one operator to another.
Boeing’s big data
Boeing, meanwhile, has developed and enhanced data
analysis tools under the brand name AnalytX. Boeing’s
digital solutions portfolio includes systems designed to
improve flight operations, flight planning, maintenance/
technical operations, crew scheduling, crew optimization and aircraft maintenance.
Boeing has long recognized the value of analytical
“What has really changed is that some of the tools
now available can send through larger amounts of data
and ways to make sense of that data,” Boeing Global
Services VP-digital aviation & analytics Ken Sain said.
Sain said Boeing’s crew scheduling and flight planning systems commonly deliver efficiency savings of
3%-7% to airline crew schedulers and 2%-4% savings
to flight planners.
Some 100 airlines flying 5,000 aircraft use Boeing’s
Airplane Health Management (AHM) system. Around
2. 7 million analytical evaluations are performed per day
through the AHM system. As of late October 2018,
Boeing had 31 billion records inside of AHM’s data vault
and that grows by 1 billion records every 90 days.
During the past year, Boeing moved all AHM data
into the cloud, which provides higher uptime and quicker availability to customers as well as the ability for disaster recovery of data. Using the cloud also is more cost
Boeing’s data analytics are grouped into four
types: descriptive (what happened?), diagnostic (why
did it happen?), predictive (what will happen?) and
prescriptive (what should you do?).
Boeing releases improvements to its monitoring and
predictive services software through an incremental approach. Te “big-bang” approach of developing all-new-systems is rarely followed these days because of time and
cost considerations, Sain pointed out.
In the fall of 2018, Boeing released a new, more-flexi-ble module for its crew optimization solution. Te module takes crew schedules and varies each of the flights by
three, five or 10 minutes earlier or later than the schedule, then recalculates the optimized answer.
“In the past, these schedules were viewed as immutable; that has changed,” Sain said.
Individually, these digital solutions each provide
savings; linking the systems together magnifies those
Te new Boeing 737 MAX’s advanced avionics are
similar to those in the 787 Dreamliner. Embedded in
the MAX are digital systems that include a new onboard
health management element, which can identify potential future problems.
One-third of MAX customers use Boeing’s crew
and flight planning optimization tools. Tree-quarters
of MAX operators use Boeing’s Electronic Flight Bag
and flight deck solutions, and two-thirds use the AHM
Airlines are also getting directly into the business
of monitoring and predictive maintenance services.
Lufthansa Technik has launched a new engine health
management app through its AVIATAR digital platform, which monitors and manages the status of their
engine fleets. To predict engine damage not visible
through conventional engine condition monitoring
systems, Lufthansa created a “digital t win.” Tis highly
detailed computer model of an engine can show the
impact of a single component on the entire engine, allowing maintenance personnel to detect unusual wear
or damage early on. Lufthansa Technik personnel can
diagnose the problem and make troubleshooting recommendations to customers. A software development
kit is available to airlines and affiliates to develop their
Helpful as these new systems are, Sain cautions that
understanding what information is being delivered is
“You need the domain expertise to interpret that
data. Tat is very important,” he said. “Two-thirds
of customers tell Boeing they want analytics embedded in solutions to provide the value to the frontline