Aircraft Inspection Drone

How are Drones Used for Aircraft Inspection?

Drone technology is being used more and more frequently in a variety of industries for a wide range of applications, including aircraft inspection. Drones are ideal for performing inspections of aircraft because they can take high-resolution images, and are also able to reach areas that are difficult or dangerous for humans to access, such as the wings or underside of an aircraft.

There are a number of different ways that drones can be used for aircraft inspection. One method involves equipping the drone with a high-resolution camera, which is used to take pictures and videos of different parts of the aircraft for visual inspection. These images can then be analyzed to identify any potential damages or cracks in the inspection area.

Drones can also be equipped with thermal imaging sensors and cameras to detect delamination defects as well.

What are the Benefits of Using Drones for Aircraft Inspection?

Regardless of the method used, using drones for aircraft inspection has several key benefits.

Provides Large Amounts of Data with Improved Accuracy

Drones can collect data more quickly and accurately, helping to ensure that potential problems are detected and addressed as quickly as possible.

Safer Operational Environment

Additionally, using drones reduces the risk of human injury by eliminating the need for workers to perform inspections in areas that are difficult or dangerous, such as high up on the aircraft’s wings, using ladders or scaffolding.

Cost Reduction

And finally, using drones can help to reduce the costs associated with aircraft inspection, since they can perform the work more quickly and efficiently and shorten the aircraft turnaround time.

Which Airlines – MRO Providers are Using Drones to Inspect Aircraft?

LATAM Airlines Group, which operates in Latin America and the Caribbean, is using drones to inspect its aircraft for any damage or needed repairs. These inspections are conducted on a regular basis and involve close collaboration between the airline’s maintenance and engineering teams. LATAM says that the use of automated aircraft inspection drones helped it reduce aircraft inspection time from 8 hours to just 40 minutes.

KLM Engineering & Maintenance (E&M) in partnership with Mainblades, plans to make automated drone use in aircraft inspection a routine activity for passenger aircraft MRO.

Korean Air has also developed aircraft inspection technology using drone swarms which provides a 60 percent reduction in aircraft inspection time.

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Dipesh Dhital
Dipesh Dhital

Dipesh is the founder of and an avid follower and enthusiast of aviation/aerospace industry. He has background in aerospace engineering and MBA (Aviation Management). “I am an advocate for the new technological advancements in aviation/aerospace industry. I have been avidly following the developments in drone industry, electric aircraft as well as emerging technologies (such as AR/VR, 3D Printing, IoT, AI and Blockchain), which will have huge impact on aviation/aerospace industry in near future”.

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