The future of aviation is connected

Innovation & Digitalization

The future of aviation is connected

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The three aviation drivers:
Technology, Data & People

The future of aviation is connected – we think that much is certain. Why? Because we believe that the driving forces in the aviation sector can only be fully harnessed when they are linked up. It is no secret that the three main drivers in aviation are technology, data and people. However, these drivers may not achieve their full potential when isolated from each other. This is exactly where Lufthansa Technik comes in – we are shaping the future of aviation by connecting together these driving forces. For decades, we have been providing technical services for various fleets and across all manufacturers. Connecting together the drivers of aviation will bring about a genuine revolution.

Technology is one decisive driver in aviation

Technology driven

Human-machine or machine-machine communication, robotics, artificial intelligence – these technologies are influencing every imaginable aspect of the whole world and driving new developments. They are also opening up whole new dimensions for us in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). That is why we have a team of technology scouts constantly on the look-out for technical innovations emerging around the world. Thanks to their extensive MRO expertise, they can analyze every new technology to assess opportunities for applying it in our day-to-day work. For instance, nanorobotics are already being used in medical applications – so how long will it be before a nanorobot is running diagnostics on an engine? During surgical procedures, robots are controlled by artificial intelligence – so when will AI help to utilize the huge volumes of data generated from diagnostics?

Data is key for the future of aviation

Data driven

New aircraft produce vast amounts of data, making it possible to implement predictive maintenance, unprecedented failure analysis, and condition monitoring for systems and components like never before. By acting as a connector we can analyze data, predict maintenance requirements and meet those needs. Everything we learn from data improves the repair, maintenance and overhaul of aircraft, engines and components – and all in one place. One solution in this regard is AVIATAR, a holistic platform that is open, modular and neutral. It offers an extensive variety of digital products and services for MRO operations by combining multiple web-based apps in one place.

Cabin of the future

Our role as a connector is also important for the cabins of the future – where transmitting data isn't a problem, but receiving it is. Although there are now receivers that can pick up the data transmitted by individual cabin components, component manufacturers have their own versions. As a connector, we are developing a communication unit that can receive data on a manufacturer-independent basis and then transmit it for evaluation. For example, a seat will tell our mechanics what exactly is wrong with it, and do so well before they come on board to carry out their brief maintenance checks. This means they can have the right spare part ready in advance. That is how we are helping to develop the cabin of the future.

People are key for the future of a connected future in aviation

People driven

We are certain it is pretty much impossible to offer truly comprehensive solutions when working alone. That is why we work alongside equal partners, whether research institutes, airlines or competitors. Every year, we carry out research and development work on more than 100 scientific projects. At the Center of Applied Aeronautical Research (ZAL), our engineers collaborate with a range of service providers and research institutes on neutral ground to produce solutions for the aviation sector.

“We are always looking out for the best partner so that we can help to deliver the best possible solution in our role as a connector.”

David Doyle, VP Business Development, Innovation Management & Product Development

For instance, our High Density Solution is one new product we are developing in cooperation with a competitor and industry partner. In this project, we have joined forces with Diehl Aerospace, a specialist in cabin components, to develop this smart combination of galley and washrooms specifically for the A320neo. Nonetheless, the High Density Solution still offers maximum comfort in the tightest of spaces. However, we don't just use our innovation bays to test our own process and repair enhancements, we also make them available to startups that need an aircraft for testing out their business ideas.

Your personal contact

David Doyle, SVP Strategy at Lufthansa Technik

David Doyle

Vice President Business Development, Innovation Management & Product Development

Lufthansa Technik AG

Hamburg, Germany