Airbus reveals aircraft inspection drone

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The Airbus Advanced Inspection Drone

Airbus is to launch an automated aircraft inspection drone for use inside hangars, which it says will reduce inspection times and enhance the quality of reports.

The Airbus’ Advanced Inspection Drone, which will be available before the end of this year, was developed in partnership with Airbus’ non-destructive testing company, Testia.

The drone is equipped with a camera and a laser-based obstacle detection sensor and follows a predefined path. The drone has been optimised for inspecting the upper parts of an aircraft’s fuselage. It works with software for flight planning and an inspection analysis tool which can automatically generate reports.

The European Aviation Safety Agency is yet to approve the use of the drone and several airlines have been shown the drone.

Airbus says it takes the drone around three hours to inspect the exterior of a commercial airliner, including 30 minutes of image capture, instead of up to one day.

April 11, 2019

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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