Airbus took the 2016 of the Farnborough Airshow edition to demonstrate a new use of the drone. Industry operates a drone to conduct quality control of its products before their delivery to airlines. A few months ago Easyjet had already shown the interest to use a drone to inspect an airliner. Airbus in turn adopted the drone to perform a final inspection before delivering its wide-bodied.
The drone has divided by 8 the duration of inspection of an Airbus A330
With nearly 70 m in length, 17 m high and 60 m wingspan, the Airbus A330 is a more than impressive industrial ‘product’. Carry out the final inspection of such a device is mobilizing both staff and telescopic lifting equipment to check the State of the surfaces of the aircraft before it enters online. This phase stops the device for 2 hour. With this remote control, via a drone, this downtime falls to 10-15 minutes. Saving of time and obvious money for the European aircraft manufacturer, faced with the rise in charge of several of its assembly lines.
The drone makes this inspection automatically, following a flight plan predefined around the 3D model of the aircraft. An operator is still hands on orders in the event of discrepancy. The HD camera saves images and this film is stored in database to be analyzed later by a specialist.
This control via drone was performed for the first time on the Airbus A330 but the manufacturer says use this mode of control of a new type on other programs, we think of the A350XWB and the A320Neo, two programmes on which Airbus should achieve a rapid ramp-up.
Translation : Bing Translator
Source : “Airbus demonstrates aircraft inspection by drone at Farnborough“, Airbus press release, July 13, 2016