When an aircraft is removed from service for any period of time, as part of a planned maintenance programme or held until sold, it is important to protect it from potentially harmful environmental conditions. An airline engineering company in the East of England was looking for a solution to achieve and maintain optimum environments for the aircrafts they work with. The company store, service and maintain many different aircrafts, including Boeing 737’s, Airbus A320’s, Fokker 70/100 and BAe146/Avro RJ’s.
Aircrafts can be held in storage, sometimes for long periods of time, and many of them do not have any onboard climate control. This can create a very musty environment within the fuselage and problems with condensation can occur. Before an aircraft can be put back into service, it will need to undergo a long and expensive cleaning process.
Other areas which suffer the effects of condensation and corrosion are the aircraft’s engines, APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) and cockpit, resulting in costly replacement or repair works.
Polygon was called upon for its support in creating the right environment on board such aircraft. Polygon consultants liaised with the engineering company to fully understand and assess the problem and then provide the most effective solution. An initial trial was carried out inside the fuselage, APU and cockpit of a Fokker 70 to prove the concept.
During the trial, a combination of drying and dehumidification equipment, as well as remote monitoring technology, was used to control and constantly assess the environment on the aircraft. Polygon’s equipment reduces the level of moisture content, drying the environment. By placing remote monitoring sensors in different positions within the fuselage, Polygon technicians were able to control conditions and preserve the quality of the cabin interior and review the environmental conditions from the internet-based systems.
Remote monitoring reports show the conditions recorded from each sensor on the aircraft. The conditions recorded are temperature, relative humidity and the dew-point temperature. In particular, dew-point temperature is monitored closely; if conditions reach the point where condensation can occur this will allow mould to grow and corrode sensitive machinery.
Mould growth was prevented, and corrosion was controlled in the engines and APU.
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