The Data Analysis System analyzes flight-by-flight data to comprehensively assess structural usage severity of individual aircraft. It uses the results to generate tailored inspection requirements and to provide extensive fleet management reporting tools.
Many aircraft fleets are being flown in unforeseen roles well beyond their initial design lives. The fleet manager must know the impact of this changing usage on the critical structure of the aircraft in order to ensure flight safety while maximizing operational readiness and the economic life of each aircraft. DAS was developed to provide this capability for the C-130.
Aircraft usage severity is often evaluated based on general parameters such as mission types or base of operations; DAS assesses usage severity at several critical locations using a fracture mechanics approach. Transfer functions map flight data (including airspeed, vertical acceleration and altitude) to stresses at the critical locations. The resulting stress spectra are evaluated to determine severity factors at those locations for each flight.
DAS uses this data to predict inspection requirements and costs based on usage to date and projected operations up to and beyond the next scheduled inspection. It handles severity-, flight time- and corrosion-specific items and generates a complete inspection deck from maintenance items stored in a parallel database (e.g. MIR). This ensures that all initial and recurring inspection requirements are met. Finally, DAS records completion of inspections for feedback into subsequent scheduled inspections. It can also link to damage found and action taken by connecting to a suitable damage and repair tracking database (e.g. DART).
DAS provides more accurate capture of usage severity, better tracking of inspections and increased flexibility for accommodating new or changing critical locations, mission profiles and inspection requirements. This helps fleet managers assess life extension requirements and increase flight safety.
The Flight File Viewer displays all flight file data in suitable formats (graphical, tabular, etc.). It monitors data integrity using indicator lights and highlighting erroneous and/or questionable data. The user reviews flight data, aircraft loads, calculated stresses, crack growth & severity factors, system settings & failures, cruise details, over limits etc. and then accepts or rejects each flight file set.