EasyJet is helping to develop new drone technology that can be used to inspect its planes.
The airline, which is holding a tech showcase at its Luton hangar today, said it is working with the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Coptercraft and Measurement Solutions to modify an unmanned aerial vehicle for trials within the next few months.
“The drones will be programmed to scan and assess the planes reporting back to engineers on any damage which may require further inspection or maintenance work,” EasyJet said.
It’s not the first time drones have been used in British aviation; Heathrow Airport employed unmanned crafts to inspect one of its buildings last year
As part of its technology push, EasyJet is also trying to enforce a “paperless plane” policy, with pilots using tablets instead of printed log books – a decluttering measure that EasyJet reckons will save half a million dollars a year in saved fuel costs.
Alongside these plans, the firm is also experimenting with augmented reality glasses and new diagnostics programmes to give engineers on the ground a better look at what’s going on with a plane in real time during a flight.