The Flight Analytics Software Desktop Animation Tool from Applied Informatics and Research (Airinc) is set to be offered as part of GE Digital’s Flight Analytics portfolio for aircraft operators. With the software, aircraft operators can create animations of their actual flight data to better understand specific aspects of aircraft and crew performance for pilot and operational training.
Under an agreement announced earlier this month, Airinc will also provide support for GE Digital’s helicopter flight data monitoring customers, as well as flight data and cockpit voice recorder services. The Canadian company holds approved maintenance organization clearance to provide recorder readouts.
According to Airinc, its flight data animation tool makes it easier for aircraft operators to create realistic and interactive animations of flights using accessible desktop software. It will be integrated with GE Digital’s event measurement system, which provides the data processing foundation for all of the company’s Flight Analytics products.
The animations can be used to validate and investigate flight events while also supporting flight deck and airport awareness training. They can be password-protected to ensure confidentiality.
“The philosophy for building our software tools and services is simple: provide data-driven analytical tools that make flight data monitoring a precise, fact-based science,” said Airinc CEO Steve Roberts. “By applying the relevant disciplines in the application of computer science, mathematics, and physics, as well as the principles and practices of flight safety, we produce high-quality data analytics products and services.”
GE Digital’s aviation software-as-a-service business now serves as many as 450 customers, including many airliners and aircraft leasing groups. “Within airlines, we serve everything that the chief operating officer cares about, including flight and technical operations, plus quality assurance and continuing improvement,” Joel Klooster, GE Digital's v-p for aviation software product management, told AIN.
The group has expanded its Flight Analytics portfolio from its initial focus on safety-related factors, which is supported by its Safety Insight tool, to also help customers benefit from having full visibility and comprehension of much wider sets of operational data. These include weather data for both actual and forecasts, as well as fuel management.
Its Fuel Insights software has been designed to help operators take advantage of opportunities to burn less fuel. By displaying fuel burn profile data in granular detail based on full-flight data rather than Acars snapshots, it supports effective decision-making over factors such as flap settings and optimum cruise altitude. Increasingly, operators’ strategy is shaped around the goal of reducing their carbon footprint, but this needs to be balanced against the overriding safety considerations, which is why it makes sense to have both on the same platform.
This and other operational data can now be shared more effectively with flight crew through GE Digital’s FlightPulse app, which runs on a pilot’s electronic flight bag. “This helps pilots to fully understand the power of digestible and actionable data and allows them to learn to make better decisions in a non-punitive environment,” explained Andrew Coleman, general manager of the company’s aviation software group.
During the Covid-related disruption resulting in crew shortages and displaced aircraft, GE Digital’s network operation software has helped operations management teams to make the best of these challenging circumstances. Operators such as Southwest Airlines have made extensive use of it to maintain “schedule robustness” by making sound tactical decisions over factors such as which flights to cancel to preserve the network as much as possible.
The company’s software platform also includes a tool to explore opportunities to make cost savings through predictive maintenance with algorithms based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Last year, it partnered with Airbus and Delta Air Lines’ technical operations department to develop a predictive maintenance tool that is offered through the aircraft maker’s Skywise platform.
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