Airbus testing drones to speed up aircraft inspections

By : |July 19, 2016 0

Aircraft inspection lies at the core of any safe flight. But this task is not just cumbersome and laborious but risky too as it often leads to minor mishaps and injuries to human workers who use cranes and lifts to closely examine a plane’s structure and components. However, it seems like, the problem might soon be fixed as Airbus has started testing drone inspections that may speed up the process by over an hour.

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Airbus demonstrated its new inspection process at the Farnborough Airshow, where a drone equipped with an Intel RealSense camera autonomously circled an A330 while rapidly snapping photos. The images were then applied to a 3D model of the aircraft that allowed inspectors to get a close, detailed look at the subject.

Although it still takes awhile to inspect the digital model, the process as whole is much faster. Gathering the inspection data by hand takes about two hours. Using a drone takes only 10 to 15 minutes.

The company expects to finish initial testing the program by the end of the year, and hopes to include a wider range of aircraft in the program soon afterward

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