AAR (NYSE: AIR), a Chicago-based aviation services provider to commercial airlines and governments, has announced the integration of Donecle drone technology into its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations, the company said.
AAR´s Miami MRO facility is the first in its global network to use the fully automated drone technology to drive operational and cost efficiencies, where the pilot phase has yielded increases in speed and precision. With laser positioning, the drone can safely perform end-to-end visual inspections of B737 and A320 aircraft in under an hour.
Designed for MRO specifications, the drone is programmed to detect any aircraft structural damage, as well as assess paint quality, markings and signs of lightning strike. One complete scan by a drone covers the equivalent of several maintenance tasks and personnel, conserving significant time and resources in the inspection and overall maintenance turnaround time.
AAR and Donecle have partnered on an initial 12-month technology agreement, and upon further assessment and results, will expand the platform to other MRO facilities. In compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, AAR performs manual aircraft inspections in addition to the drone inspections.
AAR is a global aerospace and defense aftermarket solutions company that employs more than 6,000 people in over 20 countries. AAR supports commercial and government customers through two operating segments: Aviation Services and Expeditionary Services.
Donecle is the leader of automated aircraft inspection by drone. Donecle is a French company located in Labege, France, with expertise in aircraft maintenance processes, drone robotics, automation and computer vision deep learning.