On June 16 at the Paris Air Show, Bombardier unveiled its new line of narrow-body aircraft: the C Series. According to Bombardier, the aircraft are delivering more than a 20% fuel burn advantage compared to in-production aircraft, and a greater than 10% advantage compared to re-engined aircraft. Test flights have shown the aircraft exceeds guarantees for noise, economics and performance and is capable of flying longer distances than expected.
MRO Network recently interviewed Todd Young, Bombardier VP of customer services, to discuss the manufacturer’s maintenance program for the C Series. Young stated, “The big change has been how we have advanced our IT support – our “e-services”. We are developing two big systems to support the C Series. The first is an eFIM – electronic fault isolation manual …It gives the maintenance crew or engineering teams the ability to troubleshoot instantaneously; on the aircraft; at the aircraft; or in the maintenance centre.”
At its 2015 European Regional Review last month, Bombardier launched the eFIM for the C Series, which replaces the traditional Fault Isolation Manual (FIM) with a single source of approved centralized content for optimal fault isolation convenience. On several occasions in keynote presentations, Bombardier emphasized that the eFIM is a cornerstone deliverable for C Series entry into service.
The C Series eFIM is based on Bombardier’s Diagnostic Solutions (ADS Plus), which complements the current FIMs and is used to support the Bombardier fleet of CRJ Series and Q Series aircraft. ADS Plus guides the troubleshooting process so aircraft maintenance technicians can quickly determine the cause of the problem, and thus return aircraft to service faster and more efficiently. New solutions are added daily to the ADS Plus database. Operators embrace Bombardier’s service approach because it offers a dynamic database with all the associated explanations, repair procedures and reference information required to do the job derived from the experience of all the airlines. Technicians appreciate ADS Plus because they consistently receive a clear troubleshooting path, without having to spend a lot of time manually entering data.
Bob Wiley, Propulsion Tech Services at Horizon Airlines, recalls one maintenance event regarding autopilot/elevator issues on an out of service aircraft. Wiley concluded that “without the guidance that ADS Plus provided we would have experienced a significant out of service time.”
Technicians also note that they reported using ADS Plus to avoid no fault founds (NFF) and replacing the wrong parts. A few years ago Wiley encountered an Auto Trim/Pitch Trim Caution and used ADS to find a troubleshooting path on an aircraft that had been out of service for a day already. “Without the guidance of ADS, they would have been replacing components that didn’t have anything to do with the problem,” said Wiley. In this case, ADS saved both time and the cost of replacing perfectly good parts.
Valerie Piggott, QX Seattle Maintenance, shared another example where ADS Plus saved critical time in diagnosing and performing a repair when an aircraft had a discrepancy of both navigation lights remaining illuminated at the same time. Piggot and fellow technicians checked the FIM and saw there were no FIM tasks associated with that specific problem. Piggott researched a solution in ADS Plus, and stated, “It saved us time by enabling us to focus our search, rather than just blindly search everywhere for a solution.”
Like ADS Plus, the C Series eFIM will be an extremely valuable tool for Bombardier’s airline customers. The eFIM will enable inexperienced AMTs to work like seasoned pros, and it will help reduce No Fault Found events, and the warranty costs associated with replacing serviceable parts. The C Series eFIM will help the entire maintenance team save time by finding the right solution quickly the first time, leading to fewer airline delays and cancellations.