HOW AHM WORKS
AHM collects data (e.g., maintenance messages and flight deck effect [FDE] faults) from the airplane in real-time (see fig. 1). The primary source of the data is the airplane’s central maintenance computer (CMC) for the 747-400 and 777 or airplane condition monitoring systems (ACMS) on other models. AHM also collects electronic logbook data from the Boeing Electronic Flight Bag. Data is collected and downlinked via the airplane communication addressing and reporting system.
The data received in real-time directly from airplanes is hosted by Boeing within the MyBoeingFleet.com Web portal. If an issue is detected, alerts and notifications are automatically sent to a location specified by the airline via fax, personal digital assistant, e-mail, or pager. Maintenance personnel can then access complete AHM information about the issue through an application service provider tool and reports on MyBoeingFleet.com.
Exactly which data will result in alerts and notifications to maintenance staffs is set by individual operators; operators also determine what particular data and information each of their employees can view via AHM, and that information is prioritized, based on its urgency. Having information packages customized to fit the role of each user ensures that users get the particular information they need.
For example, after encountering a flap drive problem en route, a flight crew called in the discrepancy. The AHM notification made it possible for the airline’s maintenance control organization to troubleshoot the problem before the airplane landed. Through real-time uplinks, the airline used AHM to interrogate systems information, identify the problem, and prepare the arrival station for repair. The information made it possible for the airline to avoid a flight diversion and the subsequent repair delay was reduced from several hours to a few minutes.
AHM facilitates proactive maintenance by providing ground crews with real-time interpretation of airplane data while flights are in progress, and it leverages Boeing knowledge and fleet data to provide enhanced troubleshooting. With AHM, operators can access Boeing engineering knowledge, worldwide fleet in-service experience, and operator-unique knowledge. It also institutionalizes the use of this knowledge in a repeatable manner, allowing the operator to maintain and grow its engineering- and maintenance-usable knowledge.
AHM is currently available for the 777, 777 freighter, 747-400, 757, 767, and Next-Generation 737 airplanes. The type and availability of flight data vary by model. The 747-400 and 777 have a CMC, as will the 747-8 and 787. The CMC allows for fault collection, consolidation, and reporting. AHM relies on other data types, such as ACMS data, on airplanes without CMCs.