Embraer Upgrades Aircraft Health Monitoring Diagnostic Tools

Timing is everything. Losing a few precious minutes during a ground turn on a tight schedule can disrupt an entire day of flying. Some delays are uncontrollable. Yet others, especially aircraft maintenance, are often avoided if airlines can identity system or parts failures in flight and effect repairs during a downline station stop. That’s what Embraer’s AHEAD platform does on 1,227 E-Jets, nearly 75% of the global fleet, in service with carriers around the world.

A decade after it was introduced on its family of first-generation E-Jets in 2012, AHEAD (Aircraft Health Analysis and Diagnosis) is still saving airlines time and money. Over the last ten years, Embraer has continuously added more features and diagnostic tools. Today’s AHEAD version is about to deliver more of that critical aircraft health information even faster.

“Our customers told us they need better trend monitoring and prediction programs. And they need to get everything super fast. That’s why we’re introducing updates in early 2023 that address those two issues,” says Johann Bordais, President and CEO of Embraer Services & Support. “It’s all about analysis and speed.”

Faster Servers

Data collected from the onboard Central Maintenance Computer (CMC) and Crew Alert System (CAS) are delivered in real time to Embraer’s large AHEAD database and web servers through ground-based ACARS stations and the internet. Information from the aircraft’s Quick Access Recorder (QAR) used by maintenance personnel can be fed directly to the servers via the internet, when ADG-400 installed.

“We’ve upgraded our servers to Cloud-based processing which allows for scalable performance. That means that we can transmit the info to our FlyEmbraer.com customer portal in less time, too. When maintenance technicians can troubleshoot faster or analyze trends quicker, that reduces response time and aircraft downtime.”

Failure Prediction Analytical Tools

AHEAD continuously monitors aircraft systems, identifies faults, and predicts failures. Operators interpret the data and can plan necessary repairs before an aircraft lands at its destination thereby avoiding costly unplanned maintenance. All historical fault information for every E-Jet is stored and easily accessed.

Embraer is adding a new tool – a Fault History Database (FHDB) decoder that will process data instantly for even faster analysis.

One of AHEAD’s most popular tools is eDecisionMaker, a business-oriented program that gives strategic and tactical insights about preventive maintenance actions. Users apply the tool to optimize aircraft availability, schedule reliability, and reduce operational costs. CAS and CMC data are monitored and analyzed continuously to flag aircraft in critical condition and aircraft that have repeat problems. Planners can use this crucial information to revise maintenance schedules so that there is minimal or no disruption to daily flight operations.

Trend Monitoring Upgrades

Specific tool upgrades are rolling out in AHEAD’s optional Premium package with the next version to E1s, including a new feature that monitors bleed valves. There are also Premium package improvements to trend monitoring of Flight Controls, Fuel System, Hydraulics, and the APU.

E-Jets E2 Enablement

In support of the nearly 250 firm orders for E-Jet E2 family from airlines and leasing companies, Embraer will release the systems trend monitoring of AHEAD for E2 operators. The new feature will be included in the AHEAD Premium package.