Airbus Is Using Drones to Inspect Airplanes

Airbus Is Using Drones to Inspect Airplanes

Airbus expects drone inspection test to finish by end of 2016.

Drones are potentially dangerous to commercial airplanes if they happen to collide. But in some cases, drones can also be helpful to planes and the companies that make them.

Airbus airbus-group-n-v showed off this week at the Farnborough International Airshow in England how it uses drones to inspect airplanes.

The aircraft manufacturer outfitted the drone with a camera so it could take pictures of one of its airplanes and look for scratches, dents, and other damages. Airbus can then use those images to construct a 3D digital model of the plane that the company said can help prevent and reduce additional airplane damage.

“The use of this new technology offers better working conditions including improving the safety and comfort for the quality inspectors,” Airbus head of quality Nathalie Ducombeau said in a statement.

Ducombeau explained in a video demonstration that using the drone to take pictures instead of a human inspector cuts down the inspection time from two hours to 10 to 15 minutes.

She said that once Airbus is finished testing its drone inspection program for its A350 aircraft, which should conclude by year’s end, the company plans to expand the drone testing to its A330 aircraft in early 2017. Airbus wants to use drones to test its entire family of airplanes, Ducombeau explained.

Drone company Ascending Technologies, which Intel INTC -0.37% bought for an undisclosed amount in January, built the AscTec Falcon 8 drone that Airbus used for its test program. The drone was outfitted with Intel’sRealSense 3D camera technology that enables drones to avoid obstacles and navigate surroundings.

“This collaboration and demo with Airbus showcases the advancements and innovation Intel brings to the drone industry,” Anil Nanduri, a vice president and general manager of Intel’s new technology group, said in astatement.

Although the drone flew autonomously, a human drone operator monitored the testing process.

In May, Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders told the Wall Street Journal that the airliner wants to become a leading company in the drone industry and plans to roll out more drone-related projects.

Airbus expects drone inspection test to finish by end of 2016.
Drones are potentially dangerous to commercial airplanes if they happen to collide. But in some cases, drones can also be helpful to planes and the companies that make them.

Airbus airbus-group-n-v showed off this week at the Farnborough International Airshow in England how it uses drones to inspect airplanes.

The aircraft manufacturer outfitted the drone with a camera so it could take pictures of one of its airplanes and look for scratches, dents, and other damages. Airbus can then use those images to construct a 3D digital model of the plane that the company said can help prevent and reduce additional airplane damage.

“The use of this new technology offers better working conditions including improving the safety and comfort for the quality inspectors,” Airbus head of quality Nathalie Ducombeau said in a statement.

Ducombeau explained in a video demonstration that using the drone to take pictures instead of a human inspector cuts down the inspection time from two hours to 10 to 15 minutes.

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She said that once Airbus is finished testing its drone inspection program for its A350 aircraft, which should conclude by year’s end, the company plans to expand the drone testing to its A330 aircraft in early 2017. Airbus wants to use drones to test its entire family of airplanes, Ducombeau explained.

Drone company Ascending Technologies, which Intel INTC -0.37% bought for an undisclosed amount in January, built the AscTec Falcon 8 drone that Airbus used for its test program. The drone was outfitted with Intel’s RealSense 3D camera technology that enables drones to avoid obstacles and navigate surroundings.

“This collaboration and demo with Airbus showcases the advancements and innovation Intel brings to the drone industry,” Anil Nanduri, a vice president and general manager of Intel’s new technology group, said in a statement.

Although the drone flew autonomously, a human drone operator monitored the testing process.

In May, Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders told the Wall Street Journal that the airliner wants to become a leading company in the drone industry and plans to roll out more drone-related projects.

On a related note, former Alaska Air Group ALK 0.28% CEO and chairman William “Bill” Ayer joined the board of a new drone startup called AirMap, signaling the increased interest in drones by people in the airline industry.

Airbus Is Using Drones to Inspect Airplanes

The world’s most expensive private jets

The world’s most expensive private jets

Boeing Business Jet

Boeing Business Jet
Boeing Business Jets

Price: $100 million

Boeing Business Jets is a family of planes with the most expensive costing around $65 million and going up to around $100 million by the time it has been customized.

It is considered the top end of the private jet market and typically used by heads of state, sports teams or music stars, Varsano said, adding that the biggest contingent of these jets is bought by Middle East buyers.

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This jet has an office and meeting area, kitchen, dining room and a private bedroom and can be customized in many ways.

The Boeing Business Jet can fit eight people and has an interior width of 3.53 meters.

Airbus ACJ319

Airbus ACJ319

Price: $100 million

The Airbus ACJ319 is the rival to Boeing Business Jets and again can cost up to around $100 million depending on the interior.

It comes in two variants – the “Elite” and “Elegance” – which have different interior layouts depending on your needs.

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The “Elegance” version has a cinema area, social lounge, office and meeting area as well as dining room and like the Boeing Business Jet, can hold up to eight people.

The inside cabin width is slightly bigger than the Boeing Business Jet at 3.7 meters.

Gulfstream G650

Gulfstream G650
Gulfstream G650

Price: $64.5 million

This could be the private jet for you if you suffer bad jet lag.

“When you are flying on some airplanes, people talk about jet lag. It’s not jet lag, it’s the cabin pressure. You are flying at high altitude so there’s less oxygen. Airlines recirculate the air in the cabin, sometimes it affects you but on a corporate jet you are bringing fresh air and the cabin pressure on G650 is lowest of all jets, which means when you are going on a 10-hour trip, your body doesn’t feel the pressure, you arrive in a more relaxed and hydrated situation,” Varsano explained.

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The Jet Business founder added that the G650 is the fastest plane in production.

It can fit up to 19 passengers and boasts that it can fly 12,964 kilometers nonstop with eight passengers on board.

The G650 cabin width is slightly narrower than the Boeing Business Jet and Airbus ACJ319 at 2.59 meters.

Bombardier Global 6000

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Price: $54 million

It offers less mileage than the G650, but this is one for the Bombardier fans, Varsano said.

The cockpit is known as the Borbardier Vision Flight Deck, a very advanced system and something known to fans of the aircraft.

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In the aircraft are a number of rooms such as the “stateroom” – the quietest part of the cabin with a divan, wardrobe and entertainment system.

The internal environment on board is controlled through a touch screen with high-speed internet on board as well.

One of the benefits of the jet is its ability to land at challenging airports due to its “short takeoff” and “slow approach” capabilities.

Dassault Falcon 7X

Dassault Falcon 7X
Dassault Falcon 7X

Price: $53 million

“The 7X would become the first business jet to use fighter jet technology with an elegant, whisper-quiet executive cabin,” Dassault explains of its digital flight control system, which automatically stabilizes the aircraft during turbulence.

It can accommodate 12 to 16 passengers depending on what floor plan you choose and is equipped with showers and a dining area.

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Like the Bombardier Global 6000, the Falcon 7X can land at challenging airports with short runways such as London City. This is because the Falcon 7X has three engines instead of two which helps it slow its approach when landing.

It has good endurance and can fly 11,019 kilometers with eight passengers.

Embraer Lineage 1000E

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Price: $53 million

Introduced in 2013, the Lineage 1000E seats 13 to 19 passengers and is Embraer’s most luxurious private jet.

Some of the key features include a large master suite with a queen-sized bed with a walk-in shower, a dining room, office desk, and lounge area.

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It has a shorter flight distance than some of its competitors; it can fly 8519 kilometers with eight passengers.

But like many of its competitor the Lineage 1000E has the ability to land at difficult airports – making it ideal for the business traveler with a lot of cash.

The world’s most expensive private jets

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