Tending on its own

 
Published: Tuesday 15 October 1996

The Eurofighter (EF)-2000, being developed for the air forces of the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, will be the first aircraft to have an integrated structural health and usage system developed by the British Aerospace (BA). The system performs real-time fatigue calculations and determines the life consumed by the airframe. It will also monitor significant structural events and flight performance parameters. This data obtained directly from the aircraft will enable the operator to regulate the life of each aircraft. BA is also planning to improve the system by designing a damage monitoring system. Damage inflicted by stones thrown up from the runway and bird strikes requires teams of engineers to inspect each aircraft before and after each flight.

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