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

How Drones Deliver The Goods Across The Enterprise

Countless sci-fi novels and Hollywood blockbusters feature futuristic worlds where flying objects are the norm. Guess what? We are starting to see this come to life in the real world. Drones, for instance, are geting a lot of attention – what started off as a niche hobby has now grown into a multi-billion dollar market for both consumer and commercial use.

Recent advances in drone technology combined with the ability to capture, analyze and act upon large volumes of data make it possible to do a lot more today than ever before. According to a study by the Teal Group Corp, the spending on drones will nearly double by 2024 to about $11.4 billion (compared to about $6.4B in 2014). Large enterprises are moving quickly to evaluate how they can use such technologies.

How Drones Deliver The Goods Across The Enterprise

Drones take off and investor money flies in

Now that the Federal Aviation Administration has published its proposed rules on drones, expect to start seeing plenty of unmanned miniature planes flying over places like AT&T Park in San Francisco, home of the World Series champions. But not when there’s a game taking place, of course.

Drones take off and investor money flies in

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