An analysis of factors that influence logistics, operational availability, and flight hour supply of the German attack helicopter fleet
Koyak, Robert A.
Sanchez, Paul J.
Sanchez, Susan M.
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There are several problems that limit the availability of modern-type helicopters that the German Army has been acquiring during the last ten years, including inspection policies, reliability, spare parts availability, and the number of personnel devoted to aircraft maintenance. The goal of this thesis is to identify factors that could lead to measurable improvement in operational availability and flight-hour supply of the German Army helicopter fleet. This research uses statistical analysis of failure-time data and a simulation model that emulates the usage and maintenance policies adopted by the fleet. The simulation model reflects normal daily operating and maintenance activities and manages individual aircraft with respect to flying operations and maintenance activities, including extensive scheduled inspections, non-recurring special inspections, and failure-driven unscheduled maintenance actions for each aircraft on a daily basis. The model reproduces recent historical trends accurately. It provides useful insights about the future availability of the German Army helicopter fleet by keeping current policies in place and making investments in the maintenance system. Without such investments, availability can be expected to decline over the next several years. By increasing maintenance assets, the decline can be reduced in a quantifiable manner.
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