Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Helicopter health and usage monitoring

Helicopter health and usage monitoring (HUM) systems have the potential both to improve flight safety and reduce operating costs. The present situation regarding helicopter reliability and maintainability was reviewed, including an assessment of the airworthiness and of the economic justification for a change from current practice. A need for improvements was clearly identified on airworthiness grounds following a survey of accident data.

Theoretical and practical studies of HUM system technology were undertaken. These included a study of HUM system configurations, both on the aircraft and for supportingcomputer ground stations. A modular configuration was proposed which exhibited the necessary attributes whilst being versatile in application between roles and operators' requirements. Studies of various technologies included the application of advanced analysis techniques such as expert systems and neural networks, the generation and monitoring of aircraft type defects under controlled rig test conditions and studies into the application of existing fixed wing engine monitoring techniques to less comprehensively instrumented helicopter engines.

Reported by

GKN Westland Helicopters Ltd
BA20 2YB Yeovil
United Kingdom
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