UPS Expands Boeing Airplane Health Management To D-11


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UPS Expands Boeing Airplane Health Management To D-11

By Eddy Metcalf

February 16, 2011 - Boeing on Tuesday announced that UPS will expand its Boeing's Airplane Health Management (AHM) coverage to include its MD-11 Freighter fleet, in addition to the 747-400 Freighter fleet, which already utilizes AHM.  

AHM is an information-driven system that helps airlines better prepare and manage unscheduled maintenance events. The expanded agreement covers 38 MD-11 Freighters and 13 747-400 Freighter and Boeing Converted Freighter airplanes. 

"AHM allows aircraft maintenance personnel to be prepared to work unexpected aircraft exceptions when the aircraft arrives and will greatly streamline our operation," said Warren Johnson, vice president, Maintenance and Engineering, UPS Airlines. 

"This will help increase the fleet's on-time performance which is a great benefit to our customers," said Mitch Nichols, UPS Airlines president. The large UPS freighters will feature the AHM Real Time Fault Management Module, which communicates in-flight information to ground stations for diagnosis and real-time operational decisions, using troubleshooting and historical fix success data. The airline uses this information to organize any needed maintenance operations and position the necessary people, parts and equipment. 

"Airlines need to have their aircraft generating revenue, so maintenance efficiency is an important initiative," said Dennis Floyd, vice president of Fleet Services for Commercial Aviation Services, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "AHM delivers relevant information whenever and wherever it is needed while the airplane is still en route." 

Airplane Health Management works through the portal. Alerts and notifications are delivered to airline personnel through the Internet, fax, personal digital assistants, e-mail and pager services. Airplane Health Management is a key component in Boeing's larger vision of the e-enabled airline, where information technology, connectivity and strategic integration promise greater efficiency and improved airline operations. 

The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 is a three-engine medium- to long-range widebody jet airliner, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas and, later, by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Based on the DC-10, it features a stretched fuselage, increased wingspan with winglets, refined airfoils on the wing and smaller tailplane, new engines and increased use of composite materials.


Two of its engines are mounted on underwing pylons and a third engine at the base of the vertical stabilizer. It also features an all-digital glass cockpit that decreases the flight deck crew from the three required on the DC-10 to two by eliminating the necessity for a flight engineer. Although the MD-11 program was launched in 1986, McDonnell Douglas started to search for a DC-10 derivative as early as 1976. Two versions were considered then, a DC-10-10 with a fuselage stretch of 40 feet (12.19 m) and a DC-10-30 stretched by 30 feet (9.14 m). 

That later version would have been capable of transporting up to 340 passengers in a multi-class configuration, or 277 passengers and their luggage over 5,300 nautical miles (9,800 km). At the same time, the manufacturer was searching to reduce wing and engine drag on the trijet.

Another version of the aircraft was also envisaged, the "DC-10 global", aimed to counter the risks of loss of orders for the DC-10-30 that the Boeing 747SP and its range were creating. The DC-10 global would have incorporated more fuel tanks

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