Airbus’ Advanced Inspection Drone (AID) aircraft inspection system accelerates and facilitates visual inspections, reducing aircraft downtime while increasing inspection report quality.

Used within a hangar, once launched by an operator, the AID follows a predefined inspection path, capturing high-resolution images of the aircraft’s structure while keeping a safe distance using a built-in, laser-based obstacle detection and anti-collision system.

High-quality pictures flow wirelessly to a tablet for the operator’s review in real-time. Images transfer to a desktop inspection station where a technician reviews them using dedicated software that localizes and measures any visual surface damage by comparing real-world images to the aircraft’s 3D structural model. Advanced imaging tools provide an accurate defect assessment, while the software generates a report to complete the full inspection cycle.

The new inspection process takes only three hours, including 30 minutes of image capture by the drone, and will improve operator safety.

Following its approval by the European EASA airworthiness authority as an alternative to complete the General Visual Inspection (GVI) process, the drone-based system will be offered to maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) organizations in the fourth quarter of 2018. www.airbus.com

Aviall to distribute GE Aviation T700 helicopter engines

Boeing subsidiary Aviall has obtained a multi-year parts distribution agreement with GE Aviation to support the T700 helicopter engine. Aviall will market and distribute components needed to support the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO), the GE T700 for customers in more than 30 countries.

Since entering production in 1978, the T700 has powered civilian, commercial, and military applications that support transport, medical evacuation, air rescue, marine patrol, and defense missions. www.aviall.com; www.ge.com/aviation; www.boeing.com/services

Safran NacelleLife offers jet engine nacelle services

Safran Nacelles has unveiled NacelleLife, a service to provide full coverage of its jet engine nacelle systems – including thrust reversers. The offering provides nacelle services tailorable to operator requirements from preparations for a jetliner’s service entry through its retirement.

Olivier Savin, Safran Nacelles’ vice president of Customer Support & Services, explains, “It applies to our full range of nacelles, from legacy products to current production and upcoming nacelle systems – including those on the Airbus A380, A320neo, and A330neo aircraft.” www.safran-nacelles.com

Abradable turbine seals

Made with metal fibers, Feltmetal abradable seals offer clearance control and sealing of blade tips and inter-stage labyrinth seal knife edges in applications up to 1,400°F (760°C). Abradable seal material can be manufactured to nearly any size or thickness and can be rolled, formed, or machined to its final configuration. www.technetics.com