GE Aviation Selected by Bell Textron for Aircraft Health Awareness System

June 16, 2020
Team Invictus brings together expertise to deliver a transformational, affordable scout aircraft to soldiers, the Bell 360 Invictus.

Evendale, OH | June 16 2020 - GE Aviation was selected by Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, to provide the Health Awareness System as part of Team Invictus for the Bell 360 Invictus competitive prototype, a part of the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program. The health awareness system integrates decades of GE’s proven health management technologies on rotorcraft with their vehicle management system on fixed wing to drive increased operational safety and availability of the fleet. 

“GE Aviation is committed to delivering a health awareness solution fusing our rotary wing system that has accumulated in excess of 2.5M flight hours and incorporates 4,500 unique onboard vibration algorithms with our fixed wing configurable onboard maintenance system,” said Christin Rauche, Connected Aircraft executive for GE Aviation. “This integrated solution will enable Bell to demonstrate key operational and sustainment objectives using its ground-based enterprise systems to provide the US Army with data driven decision making, more efficient troubleshooting and a comprehensive view into aircraft operational availability.”

“Proven technology like GE’s health management and experience in data analytics drives timely/actionable information into the hands of our warfighters,” said Chris Gehler, vice president and program director for FARA at Bell. “Bell is managing Team Invictus as we work together to show how cutting-edge technology will give soldiers the ability to confidently operate in MDO’s complex and contested battlespace. The effort complements and carries forward the work GE has already performed along with Bell in the V-280 System Integration Lab (SIL).”

GE Aviation’s Health Awareness System is an end-to-end solution that advances traditional rotorcraft Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) capabilities by combining it with proven fixed wing aircraft health management solutions. The system includes autonomously gathering and transmission of rotorcraft system configuration, health, usage and maintenance data.

GE’s on-board and off-board system securely manage data transmission from the aircraft, decode and process the health state of the rotorcraft and execute maintenance analytics. The system integrates seamlessly with enduring-fleet-capable, modular additional ground systems such as Bell’s MissionLink® for data distribution and visualization to predict maintenance events and increase mission readiness for the fleet.

“The health awareness system is the first of its kind and applies advanced data driven aircraft maintenance concepts to the rotorcraft market,” Rauche continued. “The system uses operational data from the platform to predict maintenance events and significantly reduce maintenance times.”

GE Aviation is providing the 3,000-SHP T901 engine for the Bell 360 Invictus, in addition to the aircraft Health Awareness System. You can watch a video on the T901 engine here.

This research was partially funded by the Government under Agreement No. No. W911W6-19-9-0002. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Technology Development Directorate, or the U.S. Government.