PAS17: The Revolution Will Be Data-Driven, Airbus Looks Skywise

Starting day two of the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, Airbus reveals what it describes as the next revolution in the aerospace industry: data.

Today, Airbus becomes Apple for planes through a partnership with Palantir, with Japanese low-cost airlines Peach and Air Asia sharing their experiences as early adopter customers of new Skywise data-centric services.

. Combines Airbus’ aerospace expertise with Palantir’s advanced data analytics solutions.

· “Platform of reference” for by the aviation industry.

· Enabling Airbus to harness deep in-service data and insights to improve its aircraft designs and support offerings

·  Already providing results with several ‘early adopter’ airlines·.

 

The airframe manufacturer plans to capitalise on its position at the nexus of aerospace technology to take the helm of a new digital marketplace.

  • The new aviation data platform was developed in collaboration with Palantir Technologies–pioneers in big-data integration and advanced analytics.
  • Skywise aims to become the single platform of reference used by all major aviation players to improve their operational performance and business results and to support their own digital transformation.
  • Skywise is already improving industrial operations performance throughout Airbus’ industrial footprint and allows now to deliver enhanced aircraft and equipment designs, better service and support offerings based on deeper in-service data insights.

 

Powering this revolution will be the new Airbus Skywise open digital aviation platform.

It will extend to digital aircraft performance measures, to digital operations processes, risk and asset management and system security as well as to extensive aircraft maintenance self-reporting and enhanced passenger experience through in-flight connectivity.

Skywise will provide all users with one single access point to their enriched data by bringing together to aviation data from multiple sources across the industry into one secure cloud-based platform.

These airline sources include work orders; spares consumption; components data; aircraft/fleet configuration; on-board sensor data; and flight schedules. Additional data sources which are traditionally shared with Airbus and hosted only on isolated servers will also be integrated into the platform to help operators conduct their own analyses and make decisions based on the full scope of their available data. These shared sources

Additional data sources which are traditionally shared with Airbus and hosted only on isolated servers will also be integrated into the platform to help operators conduct their own analyses and make decisions based on the full scope of their available data. These shared sources

These shared sources include operational interruption history; parts replacements; post-flight reports; pilot reports; aircraft condition monitoring reports; complete onboard aircraft data; technical documentation; technical requests; and service bulletins (SBs).

Examples of how Skywise could help airlines to support and shape their business models include:

  • Improved fleet operational reliability through predictive & preventative maintenance;
  • Improved operational efficiency for legacy fleets;
  • Rapid root-cause analyses of in-service issues;
  • Optimising each aircraft’s performance through flight operations data analytics;
  • Tracking maintenance effectiveness over time;
  • One-click reporting workflows, including complex reporting to regulatory bodies.

The manufacturer has struck at the heart of what aviation needs most right now: efficient systems integration. While airlines already gather an overabundance of data, they need support to highlight the data which matters most to their day-to-day operations. It’s clear that Airbus wants to move beyond building hardware to developing strong and meaningful software.

Effectively, Airbus wants to be the new Apple for planes.

Marc Fontaine, the Airbus Digital Transformation Officer, commented: “Together with Palantir, we are already realising major business value from data previously hidden within our own operations. Now with Skywise we are taking this relationship to the next level by offering its advantages to the aviation industry. We’ve seen its power in our own operations, and Airbus is convinced of its huge potential to bring value to our customers and industry partners, as the new ‘beating heart of aviation’.”

Dr Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir Technologies, said: “Our relationship began with a focus on Airbus-internal operations – manufacturing, engineering, services – and we’re expanding now to bring this same analytical acumen directly to airlines. The potential for collaboration between the world’s top engineering firm, Airbus, its airline customers, and Palantir’s software is unprecedented.”

By combining Airbus’ intimate aerospace expertise with Palantir’s know-how in deploying data platforms, Skywise will empower end users to gain new insights from their own data. Furthermore, the platform will allow airlines and other aviation stakeholders to enhance their operations through access to OEM expertise and global fleet context. The unique combination of global data and aerospace experience deliver business value in the following key areas: reducing flight disruptions; decreasing maintenance cost through predictive maintenance; optimising flight operations; transforming cabin and ground operations; making faster decisions to cope with unexpected events; and optimising fleet management by interpreting high volumes of fleet and flight operations data – even if it resides on legacy information systems.

With Skywise, operators of Airbus aircraft will be in a position to leverage the cumulative knowledge of the 20,000 Airbus engineers who have tracked the performance of each individual aircraft over its entire operational life. Until now, this deep reservoir of expertise was accessible only during the years of development and flight tests through the aircraft Entry-into-Service.

Moreover, by integrating their operational, maintenance, and aircraft data into a secure and open platform, airlines will be able to store, access, manage, and analyse selected Airbus data together with their own data and global benchmark data without the need for additional infrastructure investments. This resulting value will soon give Airbus’ customers new insights at aircraft, fleet, company, and global level.

The deliverables will be tailored for each user and will include scalable services (such as analytics, apps and APIs) which can be used by Airbus, customers, and suppliers – ensuring complete data continuity with benefits across the entire value chain.

The technology powering the data platform is designed to interoperate seamlessly with customers’ existing IT infrastructures and deliver capabilities beyond what is possible with standard ‘open source’ software. At its core, Skywise helps better manage complex data environments with many interdependencies so that users can unlock data in service of business outcomes.

Early Adopters

Airbus Skywise early adopter LCC carriers, Peach and Air Asia, were also present at the Paris Air Show launch of the Skywise system sharing their experience of this data-centric future of flying.

Today, several major airlines around the world are already Skywise early adopters.

Examples of the projects undertaken with these airlines include events tracking and resolution; turnaround-time analysis; operations analytics; predictive maintenance; reliability analysis and benchmarking; maintenance decision support. Moreover, in the near future, the benefits of Skywise will also become available for Airbus helicopters, military aircraft, and other products operators.

The initial offer will cover the core digital aviation platform, a new aircraft connectivity solution, and selected platform applications and integrated dashboards (including tools for predictive maintenance and fleet reliability deployed with Skywise’s early adopter airlines).

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