“Smart Lander” developed by ATR and Safran to revolutionize the way hard landings are analysed. Here’s what we know

Safran Landing Systems, the world leader in aircraft landing and braking systems, Safran Engineering Services, a provider of high technology engineering services and ATR – the world’s leading regional aircraft manufacturer, have collaborated to develop, what is dubbed as “Smart Lander” – the first of its kind in the aviation industry.

Safran

Smart Lander, an innovative landing gear diagnostics service developed by the aerospace behemoths, is apparently based on machine learning technology, touted to optimise the manufacturer’s response times in the event of hard landings, and enable aircraft to be quickly returned to service.

What causes a hard landing?

Boeing defines a “hard landing” to be any landing that may have resulted in an exceeding limit load on the airframe or landing gear, with a sink rate of 10 feet per second with zero rolls at touchdown. It can be caused by weather conditions, mechanical problems, overweight aircraft, pilot decisions and/or pilot errors.

The aftermath of a hard landing can be hard on the passengers and cargo and the aircraft itself. Bumpy landings or bouncing on the tarmac with high forces can potentially impart huge structural stress on landing gear components.

Although pilot error can cause “hard landings”, they are executed on purpose because of wet weather conditions, wind gusts, or short or busy runways-pilots often prefer to term such landings-“firm”.

Following a hard landing, an aircraft is subjected to a close visual inspection of various structural components to determine if further inspections are warranted. Based on initial inspection, further examinations may be performed- should a leakage of hydraulic fluid from the shock strut is found which may call for a removal of parts of the landing gear. 

Representative | Source

How will Smart Lander streamline the process?

Based on hundreds of thousands of hard landing simulations, Smart Lander will issue recommendations to operators on the maintenance actions to be taken according to the hardness of the landing and to the load level sustained by the landing gear. Based on these, the aircraft can therefore be permitted to continue their commercial operations or alternatively, be sent to a maintenance base. A process which would take over a week previously can now be done in less than an hour.

Our former process could take up to 10 to 20 working days. It required analyses from both the ATR Design Office and Safran Landing Systems to decide whether the aircraft was fit to return to service. With Smart Lander, we will be able to massively reduce ATR response times, therefore boosting aircraft availability, reducing costs for customers and enhancing customer satisfaction, while maintaining the same level of analysis quality.

David Brigante, ATR Customer Support and Services Senior Vice-President, stated
David Brigante | Aviation Maintenance Magazine

Significantly slashing the response times required for returning the aircraft to service after a hard landing, Smart Lander will also undeniable advantages to both ATR and its customers in terms of man-hours, aircraft availability and customer satisfaction.

SOURCE(s)

COVER: Cargospotter

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