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Airbus launches advanced indoor inspection drone to reduce aircraft inspection times

Airbus launches advanced indoor inspection drone to reduce aircraft inspection times

·         To be available for MROs and airlines in the last quarter of 2018

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·         First application for Airbus’ single-aisle family

·         Developed in partnership with Testia, Airbus’ non-destructive testing subsidiary

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Orlando USA, 10th April 2018 – At MRO Americas, Airbus is demonstrating for the first time a drone-based, innovative maintenance tool – Airbus’ Advanced Inspection Drone – for use inside a hangar, which accelerates and facilitates visual checks, considerably reducing aircraft downtime and increasing the quality of inspection reports.

Combining Airbus’ extensive aircraft knowledge with best-in-class drone technology, this new product consists of a smart, automatic drone with an integral visual camera, a laser-based obstacle detection sensor, flight planner software and an Airbus’ aircraft inspection software analysis tool. Developed in co-operation with Airbus’ subsidiary Testia which specialises in non-destructive testing, this drone-based aircraft inspection system is optimised for inspecting the upper parts of the aircraft fuselage.

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Following a predefined inspection path, the automated drone captures all the required images with its on-board camera. High quality pictures are then transferred to a PC database for detailed analysis using a software system. This allows the operator to localise and measure visual damage on the aircraft’s surface by comparing it with the aircraft’s digital mock-up. The software automatically generates an inspection report.

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The new system will be available for the industry in the fourth quarter of 2018 following EASA approval of the new inspection process. Initial demonstrations have been made to several airlines which have expressed interest. It will also be offered to MRO organisations. Since it is designed for use inside maintenance hangars, the drone is equipped with a laser-based sensor capable of detecting obstacles and halting the inspection if necessary. This laser-based technology allows the vehicle to fly automatically without the need for remote piloting.

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Aviation

UK Airports Struggle to Implement Liquid Limit Changes

UK Airports Struggle to Implement Liquid Limit Changes

As summer approaches, travelers passing through major UK airports will continue to encounter restrictions on carrying liquids in their hand luggage, as the deadline for implementing new scanners has been extended.

Despite efforts to upgrade security technology, London Gatwick, Heathrow, and Manchester airports are unlikely to have the necessary equipment in place by the previously set date of June 1st. This delay could persist for up to a year, potentially stretching until June 2025, as airports grapple with the installation process.

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The government has granted airports individual extensions, acknowledging the challenges they face in transitioning to the new scanning technology. Consequently, passengers may still be required to remove liquids and laptops from their bags during security checks. Failure to meet deadlines will result in financial penalties imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority, as announced by the UK Department of Transport.

Chris Woodroofe, managing director at Manchester Airport said to BBC, emphasized the ongoing transition, urging passengers to adhere to the existing liquid restrictions and prepare for the possibility of continued inconvenience. While some terminals may feature the new scanning lanes, the majority are still in the process of implementation.

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In addition to advising travelers to comply with current regulations, passengers are urged to familiarize themselves with the rules at their destination or transfer airports, as the outdated restrictions may still apply elsewhere.

Phil Forster, managing director of Teesside Airport, expressed understanding for the challenges faced by larger airports in adapting to the new technology. The next-generation scanners, equipped with computed tomography (CT) technology, offer clearer 3D images, allowing items to remain inside bags and increasing the permissible liquid limit to two liters.

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Embraer debuts first E-Jet successfully converted to cargo aircraft

Embraer debuts first E-Jet successfully converted to cargo aircraft

The first E190F, a jet that was converted from passenger transport to freighter (E-Freighter), had its inaugural flight in São José dos Campos, Brazil, successfully today.

For over two hours, the Embraer crew evaluated the E-Freighter jet in flight. Testing will be completed before the aircraft is put into service. Regional One is an American leasing firm that owns the aircraft.

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“The E-Freighter programme opens a new business opportunity for Embraer, matching the high-tech E-Jets family to an unbeatable operational performance and meeting the growing global demand for cargo transport in e-commerce,” says Francisco Gomes Neto, President and CEO of Embraer.

“We are quite happy with the quick progress that E190F and E195F made during the testing phase. These aircraft will be valuable resources for our clients, enabling them to handle more flexible and dispersed delivery processes. The inaugural flight is one of several assessments that Embraer is carrying out prior to the E-Freighter aircraft going into service. Tests for the aircraft’s ability to pressurise on the ground and load cargo have already proven successful.

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Up to 30% less operating expenses than narrowbodies, three times the range of large cargo turboprops, and over 50% more volume capacity are all features of converted E-Jets to freighters. For the E190F and E195F, the maximum structural payload when combining capacity under the floor and main deck is 13,500 kg and 14,300 kg, respectively.

The E190F and E195F Passenger to Freight Conversions (P2F) programme was introduced in 2022 and involves over 600 staff who worked over half a million hours on the E-Freighter, together with a global network of over 40 suppliers.

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Bangalore residents were puzzled after an Air India one B777 VVIP circling at a low altitude

In Bengaluru’s Koramangala neighborhood, residents have been experiencing persistent disturbance from a jet flying overhead for the past two days.

Many individuals in the community have noted a Boeing aircraft making repeated passes over the HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) Airport, causing concern and speculation. The specific aircraft identified is a Boeing 777-337 (ER) with registration number K7067, known for its role in transporting VVIPs such as the president, vice president, and prime minister.

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Flight tracking data from platforms like Flightradar24 confirmed its departure from Delhi and subsequent circling of the HAL airport six times before returning to Bengaluru.

Residents have expressed frustration and annoyance at the continuous noise generated by the low-flying aircraft, particularly those in the Indiranagar and Koramangala areas. Some have shared sightings of the aircraft approaching ground level before ascending again without making contact.

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Mohan Krishnan, a former scientist at the National Informatics Centre, suggested that the aircraft’s activities could be related to maintenance checks or pilot training, especially considering the implementation of the model code of conduct due to the Lok Sabha elections.

Despite ongoing concerns raised by residents and observations of the aircraft over the past weeks, officials have yet to provide any formal statements regarding the nature or purpose of the low-level flights over Bengaluru.

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