Technology Offers A Solution To Enhance Aircraft Reliability And Minimize Aircraft Down Time
Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) has received FAA supplemental type certification (STC) for its FAST (Flight Data Acquisition Storage and Transmission System) engine diagnostic solution aboard the Bombardier Q400 regional aircraft (pictured in Bombardier photo) which is powered by PW150A engines. FAST is unique in that it goes beyond traditional diagnostics, prognostics and trend monitoring; the product can also acquire, store and transmit data from the Flight Data Recorder thus allowing for customer review of full Flight Operations Quality Analysis (FOQA) information.
FAST is the latest innovation in P&WC's suite of advanced diagnostic solutions that automatically acquires, stores and transmits engine and aircraft data. Stored engine data is readily available for review and transmission to the customer the moment it is required.
This one-stop application for managing all aircraft performance data is a competitive advantage for operators such as regional airlines.
"There are more than 400 Bombardier Q400 regional turboprops and thousands of PW100-powered aircraft in service around the world. Securing FAA certification for our FAST solution aboard an aircraft is an important milestone for us," said Raffaele Virgili, Vice-President, Customer Service, P&WC. "Regional airlines place great emphasis on dispatch reliability. At P&WC we are working toward offering our customers a planned operating environment where maintenance is synchronized with the airline's schedule and downtime is kept to an absolute minimum."
Because FAST integrates all performance metrics into a single hardware/software solution, it has additional appeal in the regional airline industry as it eliminates the need for scheduled manual downloads, saving both time and money. FAST allows regional airlines and other operators to plan their maintenance sessions in advance, taking advantage of overnight layovers, for example. Because the system provides early detection of minor issues, preventative maintenance can be conducted before these minor issues affect dispatch availability. It also provides timely post-flight fault code/event review which enables determination of an aircraft's immediate availability.
"Whether the goal is asset protection, on-condition maintenance or regulatory compliance, P&WC's FAST solution will meet any operator's needs and provides for a planned maintenance environment," said Virgili.
FAST has also been certified for the Bombardier Learjet 60 and the Dassault Falcon 7X.