Developed by Boeing in partnership with Ultramain Systems, Inc., ELB enables unprecedented levels of communication between flight crew, cabin crew and ground-based maintenance and engineering staff, which translates into better passenger service and greater airline cost savings.
ELB runs on the airplane’s Electronic Flight Bag and onboard server system to collect airplane flight data and crew-observed fault input, sharing that information with ground-based technicians and maintenance systems while the airplane is still en route. Ground crews, along with needed parts and documentation, can be stationed at the gate to perform needed maintenance as soon as the airplane lands. This enables the airline to maximize maintenance process efficiency and minimize passenger delays.
Pilot observed faults can now be created in the ELB, whereas previously they were handwritten by a pilot into a paper logbook. Because British Airways also uses Boeing’s Airplane Health Management (AHM) software, in-flight faults generated by the airplane and automatically recorded by AHM are correlated and displayed side by side with the faults recorded by pilots into the ELB. With this coordination of real-time, in-flight fault data collected from both solutions, the airline’s maintenance organization is aware of a potential situation before the airplane even arrives at its destination.
Use of ELB together with Airplane Health Management provides comprehensive analytics and prognostics capabilities, creating a more complete picture of the airplane’s maintenance status. Equipped with this data-driven knowledge, airlines are able to understand, diagnose and quickly execute maintenance items.
British Airways is the first 787 customer to use the ELB. BA has 24 787 Dreamliners on order and currently has 8 in fleet.