AAR has announced the integration of Donecle drone technology into its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations.
The company, a leading aviation services provider to commercial airlines and governments worldwide, has introduced the technology initially to its Miami MRO facility.
The fully automated drone technology is intended to drive operational and cost efficiencies, with the pilot phase having yielded increases in speed and precision.
With laser positioning, the drone can safely perform end-to-end visual inspections of B737 and A320 aircraft in under an hour.
Rahul Ghai, AAR’s chief digital officer: “In exploring opportunities to increase efficiencies and best utilize our skilled workforce, AAR continually assesses opportunities to digitally enable our businesses.
“In the case of our MRO sites, our investments in technologies like drones, machine learning and mobile devices will drive a more efficient operation, optimized technician schedules, as well as improved turnaround times achieved through faster and more accurate inspections and maintenance plan execution.
“This will lead to ultimately higher customer satisfaction, while helping us build out richer data to enhance our overall maintenance planning and execution capabilities.”
Josselin Bequet, Donecle’s CEO and Co-Founder, added: “We are very proud to support AAR in its innovations to better serve its customers and keep its position as the leading independent MRO worldwide, while also contributing to AAR´s digital transformation.
Designed for MRO specifications, the drone is programmed to detect any aircraft structural damage, as well as assess paint quality, markings and signs of lightning strike.
One complete scan by a drone covers the equivalent of several maintenance tasks and personnel, conserving significant time and resources in the inspection and overall maintenance turnaround time.
AAR and Donecle have partnered on an initial 12-month technology agreement, and upon further assessment and results, will expand the platform to other MRO facilities.
In compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, AAR performs manual aircraft inspections in addition to the drone inspections.