Airplane Health Management: Monitoring the Airplane in Flight

July 30, 2013 in Commercial

The Boeing Airplane Health Management (AHM) system gives airlines the ability to monitor airplane systems and parts and to interactively troubleshoot issues while the airplane is in flight. Today AHM is in service with 58 airlines worldwide, on board more than 2,000 airplanes. Because it is a standard feature on the 787 Dreamliner, those numbers will grow continually – adding to the body of knowledge Boeing will use to enable more efficient airplane operations.

How AHM works

Data from onboard systems and engines is routinely captured in flight and transmitted in real time to the airline’s ground operations. When any issue surfaces, major or minor, airline personnel receive alerts delivered through the Internet, e-mail, fax or pager services.

Teams can then access and process the information with Boeing-hosted tools on, a secure Internet portal for airplane owners and operators. Airline teams receive comprehensive reports and information customized according to need, priority and urgency.

Airlines using AHM can make maintenance decisions in a fraction of the time that would otherwise be needed, so they can be ready for any action required as soon as the airplane lands. That gets airplanes and passengers back in the air as soon as possible.

AHM information also goes to Boeing Operations Control Centers, which are staffed 24/7 to support airline operations teams. When the centers receive data from the AHM system and other sources, Boeing responds quickly, engaging suppliers, technical experts and engineering resources as needed to provide its airline customers with information, guidance and solutions.

AHM and the 787 Dreamliner

AHM has been on board the 787 Dreamliner since the beginning of flight testing. This has enabled Boeing to support customers in near real time, increasing 787 schedule reliability. For example, when AHM discovered a software issue with flight controls that began to cause delays in the customer’s fleet, it became clear that the airline could not wait for the next regularly scheduled software update to address the problem. Boeing updated the software immediately.

Boeing is also able to share knowledge gained on one airplane with every customer flying that airplane type by aggregating the data and continually updating maintenance manuals, providing quick links to maintenance tips and other service-related information provided by Boeing systems experts and engineers.

AHM is made possible by Boeing’s detailed design knowledge and data collected over decades of in-service experience, as well as its investment in the systems, applications and infrastructure required to make use of this information.

Learn more about Boeing’s 24/7 Customer Support, including a data infographic and helpful links.