Airbus is Using Drones to Help Inspect its Aircraft

Jul 27, 2016

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It’s usually cause for concern when drones fly too close to airplanes, but Airbus is embracing the technology in hopes that it’ll help expedite the process of inspecting aircraft before flights.

The current process for aircraft inspections is time-consuming, tedious and even considered to be dangerous, as inspectors have to use cranes and lifts to get close enough to the plane to get a good look.

At the Farnborough Air Show, Airbus showed off a new process that could one day become the industry standard: a drone equipped with a camera flies around an A330 taking hundreds of photos. In just 10-15 minutes, the drone does what normally would have taken humans a few hours to do.

These drones aren’t replacing human inspectors in the equation — the images taken by the drones are projected on to a 3D model of the plane, where inspectors closely examine each part of the aircraft and make sure the plane is fit to fly.

Featured image courtesy of Cathay Pacific.

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