Automated Surface Inspection

Drone used for aircraft automated inspection

Thursday 7th November, 2019

aircraft automated inspection

Aircraft maintenance provider AAR is the first company in America to use French company’s Donecle’s inspection drone to help improve efficiencies when inspecting its fleet.

AAR is trialling automated drone technology to inspect the surface of the aircraft for damage and wear. The drone can inspect and oversee the surface of a Boeing 737 in under an hour.

This is far more efficient than manual inspection and allows AAR to use the workforce elsewhere within the business. This faster inspection allows for faster turnaround time and has a direct effect on the bottom line.

However, the benefits of the drone won’t be truly felt for a further 12 months because the drone surface inspection technology is currently going through a year-long trial period. During this time manual inspection and drone inspection will be combined to make sure AAR comply with the USA’s Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

The drone can detect structural damage, as well as assess paint quality, marks and signs of storm damage, such as lightning strikes.

Rahul Ghai, AAR’s chief digital officer said, “In exploring opportunities to increase efficiencies and best use of our workforce, we continually assess opportunities to digitally enable our businesses. In the case of our MRO sites, our investments in technologies like drones, machine learning and mobile devices will drive more efficient operation, optimised technician schedules, as well as improved turnaround times achieved through faster and more accurate inspections and maintenance plan execution.”

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