Aircraft in service is exposed to dynamic load that may degrade its aerodynamic and flight characteristics. To ensure timely maintenance and efficient aircraft operations it is necessary to know and keep track of aircraft’s actual performance. Existing methods for monitoring aircraft performances rely on monitoring fuel consumption and changes in specific range. Knowledge of aircraft aerodynamic characteristics would allow determination of broader range of flight performance characteristics. The aim of this paper is establishment of research framework for aerodynamic characteristics monitoring using data collected from regular commercial flights.
Aircraft flight performance characteristics are defined with features of aerodynamic, propulsive and inertia forces. Aircraft in service is subject to changes of its physical characteristics that determine his maximum range, endurance, optimal climb speed, service ceiling and other flight performances. Degradation of aircraft flight performances can affect its service efficiency. Current flight data sensor technology state implies using them as regular navigation, control and stabilization support during flight. Recorded flight data are used for post flight analysis, including fuel efficiency estimation, engine operation and health monitoring along basic intention of accident investigation safety analysis. Flight recorded data can be used for aircraft flight performance montoring. This research is aimed to set possibilities for aerodynamic characteristics monitoring from regular flights of transport aircraft in service. This means that available data for aerodynamic characteristics determination will come from flight data recorders during usual flight profile without tailored maneuvers.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
Problem of aircraft performance monitoring from flight data is explored from available literature [1-13].
2.1 Degradation of Aircraft in Service
Aircraft degradation emerges as main topic of numerous research articles through different aspects. The most common problems with aircraft degradation are due to aging of structures. Collection of methods for systematic monitoring of aircraft’s structure condition and damage are known under a common name – SHM (Structural Health Monitoring) [2-5].
Methods for monitoring structure aging include measuring material vibration characteristics and their changes caused by strength variation in material and structure.
Purpose of SHM is to get information about true structure condition (possible damage, fractures, etc.) to secure timely maintenance and efficient operations. Aeroelastic effects under high dynamic load can lead to structural changes of flight control surfaces and decrease its efficiency .
In the literature, the term aircraft degradation appears also in problems of identification and monitoring of engine health parameters [6-8].
Engine performance monitoring of aircraft in service is known as Engine Health Monitoring (EHM). EHM methods are based...