voiceofgoa From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 20 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3045 times:
A friend recently mentioned to me that Lufthansa monitors the engines on all its flights around the world in realtime at a central location, from the moment they spool up until the flight lands. Is this true? And is it only Lufthansa that does it?
tdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 81 Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3033 times:
Quoting voiceofgoa (Thread starter): A friend recently mentioned to me that Lufthansa monitors the engines on all its flights around the world in realtime at a central location, from the moment they spool up until the flight lands. Is this true?
Absolutely not. I know for certain of several other outfits (including the engine OEMs) that do the same thing. I don't know if Lufthansa specifically does it (hence my "almost") above but I'd be pretty surprised, given their technical prowess and fleet size, if they're not doing it.
Most recent generation aircraft have the same capability...this is what Boeing's Aircraft Health Monitoring and Airbus's Airman are designed for.
CM From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2890 times:
Adding a bit to what Tom has said... most current generation aircraft have a multiple air-to-ground capabilities for transmitting maintenance data. Most common is ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System), which is a customizable reporting mechanism. ACARS uses predefined triggers to send a given set of information to the ground. Usually, the trigger is some kind of fault or parametric exceedance. On Boeing aircraft (and I assume it is the same on Airbus), the airline can customize both the triggers and what is sent to ground in the report. To give you some idea of the scope of this system, the 787 has 146,000 different parameters on the databus, from which the airline could choose to be included in an ACARS report - the reports include everything from temperatures and pressures, to valve positions and aircraft as-flying configuration data. On some aircraft (for Boeing, it is the 747-400, 787 and 747-8i), engineering on the ground can send a request to the airplane for a customized report, thus triggering an on-demand report, rather than waiting for the predefined triggers on the airplane to send something. This can be particularly useful after the airplane has sent an automated ACARS report and engineering decides they want more data while the airplane is still flying.
There is a step beyond this, but it is not at all common.
ACARS is real-time monitoring, but it is not continuous. In other words, unless the airplane decides to send a report, the airline on the ground has not information on what the airplane is doing. For continuous monitoring (something some aircraft can support), the aircraft continuously streams data to the ground, in more of a telemetry system. Most operators do not use this, as it hogs a whole lot of bandwidth for limited operational value. Instead, virtually all aircraft have servers or memory modules to record this stream of data, storing it onboard until the aircraft gets back to earth. On the ground, appropriately equipped aircraft can use a gatelink (terminal-wireless / wifi) connection, to automatically send the captured data to airline engineering (or a 3rd party service) via the internet. For aircraft operating without gatelink capability, the stored data is typically retrieved at the airplane via physical retrieval of the memory module, or by taking a laptop to the airplane and pulling the data.
It may well be that LH is actually doing real-time continuous monitoring. Of all operators out there, LH has both the engineering sophistication to make this information operationally useful, as well as having aircraft which are equipped to support the practice (Most LH long-haul aircraft have a satellite broadband connection),
Tristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 3855 posts, RR: 34 Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2818 times:
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 1): Boeing's Aircraft Health Monitoring and Airbus's Airman are designed for.
If you haven't seen the displays that these systems have, try and get someone to show you.
Every engineer in the airline can log in and bring up on their PC a real time display that shows the airlines fleet, and its status.
The ECAM/EICAS messages that have been triggered and how important they are.
If I call up our Airbus page I can see all 80 aircraft, where they are with OOOI times, and their status. One may be red with a no-go message, and 4 may be yellow with important messages, and the rest white. Red are always top left.
Engines are monitored in flight by the FADEC and if this computor sees a discrepancy, it will flag up an ECAM message that will appear on this screen. There are embedded links to past history and fault finding manuals.
Just recently I met an A330. As I waited to go on board, the maintenance controller rang me to say there was a Thrust Reverse problem on landing. The capt was surprised when I asked him what was the reverser problem. He didn't know he had told anyone yet!
dandaire From UK - Wales, joined Jul 2008, 65 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2777 times:
Quoting Tristarsteve (Reply 4): Engines are monitored in flight by the FADEC and if this computor sees a discrepancy, it will flag up an ECAM message that will appear on this screen. There are embedded links to past history and fault finding manuals.
There was a great TV programme about Rolls Royce engines that is available in parts on You Tube. From 13:00 on in part 3 and on through part 4 it explains how the engines report back to base in Derby UK.
Tristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 3855 posts, RR: 34 Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2715 times:
Can't watch YouTube, I'm at work!
But just went into MyBoeing Fleet.
This is a website owned by Boeing for their customers.
For every B744 and B777 that we have, I can see the ACMS engine reports.
Just looked at random at G-YMMU, which took off from EZE at 1759 on BA244.
I can read and print off the RR engine take off report which was sent as an ACARS at 1800.
There are about 80 parameters on there showing engine performance. There are 3 or 4 reports
produced and sent on every sector. A computor reads it and checks for discrepancies.
But unless an EICAS message is generated, no one will read it as everything is OK.
When I first read this thread, I had visions of a mission control with loads of guys
reading all these reports!
CM From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2699 times:
Quoting Tristarsteve (Reply 6): When I first read this thread, I had visions of a mission control with loads of guys
reading all these reports!
Yes, the reality is the aircraft can produce far more data than a typical airline can make sense of. This is why services like Airman and AHM exist. They employ very complex algorithms which process the reams of data in order to produce useful / actionable information to the airline. The two products perform similar functions, which are described in the Airman summary above. One item not mentioned is the ability to trend monitor and predict failures; AHM will notify you of components which are about to fail, even providing an estimate of the number of flights remaining before failure is expected.
Here's an example: As electric motors approach failure, the current draw increases on a predictable trend. Because of this, AHM monitors current draw from the wiper motors and by doing so over the life of the airplane, the current increase can be detected and AHM can tell you if you have ~200 flights remaining or ~2. Another example is monitoring differential pressure across hydraulic filters. AHM can not only tell you your filter is clogging, but can also tell you of impending pump failures. It's very handy information.