Emirates and Boeing have signed a memorandum of understanding to use digital technology to accelerate improvements in maintenance operations.

This will include measures such as drone assisted aircraft inspections, sharpening the precision and effectiveness of maintenance tasks through use of virtual and augmented reality, in addition to next generation prognostic and predictive maintenance.

The integration of drone technology for maintenance tasks will speed up exterior inspections on wide-body aircraft using ultra-high resolution cameras with the capability to reach every angle of the aircraft to detect surface imperfections.

The imagery and data collected becomes the basis of highly detailed reports, allowing far greater precision and helping with audits of future inspections.

Digitising maintenance

Ahmed Safa, divisional senior vice president at Emirates Engineering, said: “Our partnership with Boeing will enable us to maximise the benefits of advanced technologies and digital excellence to improve operational reliability, minimise disruptions and ensure our fleet operates at the highest standards, ultimately providing our customers a better travel experience.

“Whether its drones conducting inspections with meticulous agility or AR visualisations that help engineers see behind panels or inside ducts to locate potentially defective components not visible to the naked eye, without having to dismantle them, we’re taking significant steps to optimise aircraft maintenance to its full potential on our fleet of Boeing 777s.”

Mixed Reality and the use of augmented reality and virtual reality visual tools means engineers can investigate the innermost workings of any part of an aircraft and other intricacies.

These technologies promise to deliver more precise and comprehensive aircraft inspections, reduce the risk of human error, and significantly cut down the time aircraft spend out of service – optimising fleet availability and performance.

Next generation prognostic and predictive maintenance technology provided by Boeing leverages advanced analytics and prognostic insights, enabling Emirates to make more informed fleet maintenance decisions.

Brad Surak, vice president of Digital Aviation Solutions at Boeing Global Services, said.“Supporting our customers on their digital transformation journey is about more than just enhancing maintenance operations.

“It’s about applying innovation to ensure their needs for optimum operations are met today and long term.”

Emirates Engineering is one of the world’s most technologically advanced aircraft maintenance facilities, supporting the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft.

The team manage and implement all aspects of maintenance, engineering, quality, planning and logistics. The 400,000 square metre facility features 12 hangars which form the largest free-spanned structures in the Middle East.
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