Did you know that almost half of all commercial planes in the world are leased?
As per CAPA - Centre for Aviation, there are 31,000+ aircraft globally, of which 48% of these are leased. Ordering new aircraft is a major milestone for any airline, involving research, demand, and, most importantly, the capital. Because of this, many airlines prefer leasing an aircraft, this also allows airlines to add aircraft to their fleet without any ownership risks, introducing much-needed flexibility.
However, Lessors and MROs (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) face several difficulties while maintaining these leased aircrafts. A lessor will take into account the whole aircraft life cycle, which usually includes multiple leases. At the very least, the lessor will look beyond the redelivery of the aircraft. The lessee, on the other hand, will only consider its operations and lease term because it only operates the aircraft for a predetermined period. As a result, perceptions and interpretations of specific requirements differ quite often. Lessors must ensure the aircraft adheres to baseline airworthiness requirements (FAA or EASA) in addition to lessees’ local requirements. If a lessor requires the lessee to present documentation of repairs, alterations, or other inspection records in a consolidated format, retrieving all documentation and compiling a complete historical records file can be a time-consuming and often impossible operation.
For visual inspections independent of their type, aircrafts are tethered to a hanger and thoroughly inspected for probable damages. These inspection procedures are performed by aircraft engineers and aircraft structure engineers. But factors such as the inspector's visual acuity and the work environment, which are impacted by weather, lightning, and additional equipment, continue to influence aircraft inspections. Since the aircraft remains grounded and doesn’t generate revenue during the maintenance period, it builds a huge amount of stress on these engineers to complete the inspection process as soon as possible; especially when a new lessee has already contracted to pick up the aircraft. So the field engineers focus more on taking pictures and making notes instead of the intricate details which cause gaps in crucial information. If the physical condition record is incomplete, the aviation authorities refuse to authorize the usage of the aircraft under the new lessee's AOC (Air Operator Certificate). This leads to repetitive physical inspection examinations and a delay in the aircraft lease return process, which cost millions.
This is where Fabrik becomes the game changer.
Fabrik's maintenance digital twin of the aircraft creates a clear 3D visual representation of aircrafts to improve the accuracy and reliability of inspection reports. With digital twins of aircrafts, engineers can monitor an immersive unified repository for aircraft’s life cycle with details of all damage reports and dent-and-buckle charts throughout its inspection history. This fills up the gaps in data for lessors and MROs by capturing tacit knowledge (things that go unrecorded), eliminating subjective interpretations and back-and-forth calls between stakeholders entirely. With our intuitive and interactive user interface, performing aircraft inspection and delivering data reports can be done within the given time-frame and increases overall process efficiency at all levels.
The digital twin also provides interactive 3D checklists and guided workflows based on the technical documents provided by OEMs, which assist engineers on-site in carrying out the right maintenance procedures for the aircraft for any given situation. During the aircraft's audit, the maintenance digital twin and 3D checklists give unbiased and simple-to-understand reports that reflect the status of activities and any remedial actions that may be required before moving on to the next new operator. Hence, Fabrik intends to create a digital thread for the aircraft such that one can track the aircraft's health throughout its lifecycle.
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