Bombardier won the Technological Innovation category (large companies) of the Mercuriades 2022 competition, for the advances of its Smart Link Plus connected aircraft program.
Les Mercuriades is a prestigious business awards program sponsored annually by the Federation of Quebec Chambers of Commerce.
Bombardier’s Smart Link Plus program is an aircraft health monitoring system capable of interpreting data from real-time flight systems and generating alerts while an aircraft is in flight, as well as on the ground. The company explained that this data enables flight and maintenance crews to prioritize aircraft service needs and dispatch, proactively troubleshoot and track fixes, and minimize aircraft downtime. Bombardier said proactive alerts generated through Smart Link Plus enable its customer service network to speed up response times and resolve issues more efficiently.
“We are delighted to have this prestigious recognition for our transformative Smart Link Plus technology,” said Jean-Christophe Gallagher, Executive Vice President, Customer Services and Support and Corporate Strategy, Bombardier. “At Bombardier, our strong focus on innovation, paired with our local talent, continues to be a pioneer in industry breakthroughs and contributes to the strength of the Canadian aerospace industry on the international stage as well as to the culture of technological excellence in Quebec.
The core of the program is the Smart Link Plus box, a ‘smart’ Health Monitoring Unit (HMU) box capable of generating key data for customers.
With the aim of offering the system as a retrofit for its in-service aircraft and potentially sharing critical information across the company’s global fleet, Bombardier worked with the GE Aviation unit to develop the hardware Smart Link Plus monitoring device. At the same time, Bombardier engineers focused on integrating hardware with aircraft systems and identifying key maintenance indicators. The third component of the program, the Bombardier-exclusive myMaintenance application, launched in August 2021, allows operators to view and interpret these indicators on any personal electronic device from virtually anywhere.
Currently, more than 97% of operators of Global 7500 production aircraft equipped with the equipment subscribe to Smart Link Plus services. The hardware was recently certified for aftermarket installation on most of the company’s in-service Challenger and Global aircraft models and has been introduced as base equipment on the new Challenger 3500.
To facilitate wider adoption, Bombardier is offering Smart Link Plus hardware to customers free of charge, with additional installation and subscription fees. Additionally, the company is already working to expand the capabilities of the program. Bombardier is collaborating with Canada’s AI supercluster, Scale AI, and leveraging Quebec expertise to develop predictive analytics capable of leveraging fleet-wide insights for predictive maintenance and advancing its concept connected aircraft.
“Smart Link Plus is more than just a service evolution,” added Gallagher. “This represents a quantum leap in our customers’ ability to predict and manage unplanned maintenance events and provides a whole new level of peace of mind, predictability and responsiveness.”