Special Issue "Civil and Military Airworthiness: Recent Developments and Challenges (Volume II)"

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Kyriakos I. Kourousis
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), School of Engineering, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Interests: continuing airworthiness management; aircraft engineering, maintenance and technical support; aviation safety; defence engineering and support; engineering education and training
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The “Civil and Military Airworthiness: Recent Developments and Challenges” Special Issue will cover a broad range of contemporary issues and research conducted in the fields of initial and continuing airworthiness, both in the civil and military aviation. This Special Issue offers the opportunity to academics, researchers, and industry practitioners working in the broader airworthiness area to publish their original research and review articles.

Particular emphasis will be placed on state-of-the-art review works and theoretical, experimental, computational research, and applied engineering work conducted on the following:

Initial Airworthiness

  • Aircraft and aeronautical components testing and certification;
  • Qualification and certification of new technologies, i.e., supersonic transport aircraft, electric, and hybrid propulsion aircraft, etc.
  • Certification of systems specific to military aircraft;
  • Qualification and certification of additively manufactured metallic and non-metallic safe/non-safety critical aircraft parts;
  • Advanced testing and computational techniques for composite aircraft testing and certification;
  • Reliability engineering methodologies and practice in aircraft design and engineering changes;
  • Safety and risk assessment methodologies and practice in aircraft development;
  • Human factors’ considerations in aircraft design.

Continuing Airworthiness

  • Safety and risk assessment in aircraft flight and technical operations;
  • Reliability analysis of aircraft systems and components;
  • Continuing airworthiness management practice in civil and military aviation;
  • Development and optimization of aircraft maintenance programs;
  • Development and optimization of military aircraft structural integrity (ASI) management programs;
  • Effective and efficient inspection and sustainment techniques for composite aircraft;
  • Human factors in aircraft maintenance and operations;
  • Safety management effectiveness in flight and technical operations;
  • Quality management and optimization in aircraft maintenance organizations;
  • Aircraft technical and non-technical cost analysis and estimation techniques.

This is the follow-up Special Issue “Civil and Military Airworthiness: Recent Developments and Challenges” (Volume II), which offers the opportunity for academics and research and industry practitioners to contribute their work on this highly important aeronautical engineering and aviation practice field.

Dr. Kyriakos I. Kourousis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Systematic Methodology for Developing Bowtie in Risk Assessment: Application to Borescope Inspection
Aerospace 2020, 7(7), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7070086 - 29 Jun 2020
Abstract
Background—Bowtie analysis is a broadly used tool in risk management to identify root causes and consequences of hazards and show barriers that can prevent or mitigate the events to happen. Limitations of the method are reliance on judgement and an ad hoc development [...] Read more.
Background—Bowtie analysis is a broadly used tool in risk management to identify root causes and consequences of hazards and show barriers that can prevent or mitigate the events to happen. Limitations of the method are reliance on judgement and an ad hoc development process. Purpose—Systematic approaches are needed to identify threats and consequences, and to ascertain mitigation and prevention barriers. Results—A new conceptual framework is introduced by combining the Bowtie method with the 6M structure of Ishikawa to categorise the threats, consequences and barriers. The method is developed for visual inspection of gas turbine components, for which an example is provided. Originality—Provision of a more systematic methodology has the potential to result in more comprehensive Bowtie risk assessments, with less chance of serious omissions. The method is expected to find application in the broader industry, and to support operators who are non-risk experts but have application-specific knowledge, when performing Bowtie risk assessment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Winging It: Key Issues and Perceptions around Regulation and Practice of Aircraft Maintenance in Australian General Aviation
Aerospace 2020, 7(6), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7060084 - 26 Jun 2020
Abstract
The very diverse character of General Aviation (GA) within Australia poses challenges for its effective management of risk and safety in the sector. Improvements for human performance and perceptions of safety within the maintenance environment are among the areas which regulators have targeted [...] Read more.
The very diverse character of General Aviation (GA) within Australia poses challenges for its effective management of risk and safety in the sector. Improvements for human performance and perceptions of safety within the maintenance environment are among the areas which regulators have targeted for continuous improvement. This paper provides a timely empirical exploration of maintenance engineer perspectives around: (1) Changes in the role of the regulator/regulation that have impacted the sector and diminished safe operations; and (2) specific practical and operational challenges that the GA industry must deal with to sustain safe operations going forward. A thematic analysis of transcribed qualitative data revealed five key themes and identified a number of key issues from sector changes including a decline in training and education, drift in working practices, and wider power-distance gap. Issues with auditing and bureaucratization, negative safety climate, and underlying values and philosophies were also found. Practical and operational challenges going forward included an array of concerns associated with safety, the mismatch between GA and commercial aviation, workforce development and the financial burden in the sector. The results draw attention to the interconnectedness between various components of the GA system, and carry timely implications for regulation in the GA sector. Future research directions are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Contemporary Analysis of Aircraft Maintenance-Related Accidents and Serious Incidents
Aerospace 2020, 7(6), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7060081 - 17 Jun 2020
Abstract
Aircraft maintenance has been identified as a key point of concern within many high-risk areas of aviation; still being a casual/contributory factor in a number of accidents and serious incidents in commercial air transport industry. The purpose of this study is to review [...] Read more.
Aircraft maintenance has been identified as a key point of concern within many high-risk areas of aviation; still being a casual/contributory factor in a number of accidents and serious incidents in commercial air transport industry. The purpose of this study is to review and analyse the aircraft maintenance-related accidents and serious incidents which occurred between 2003 and 2017, to provide a better understanding of the causal and contributory factors. To achieve this, a dataset of maintenance-related accidents and serious incidents was compiled and then qualitatively analysed by thematic analysis method. Coding these events by using NVivo software enabled the development of a taxonomy, MxFACS. The coded output was then evaluated by subject matter experts, and an inter-rater concordance value determined to demonstrate the rigour of the research process. Subsequently, the events were evaluated in terms of their relationship to known accident categories such as loss of control, runway excursions. The most frequent maintenance event consequences were found to be runway excursions and air turnbacks, with the second level categories being related to failures in engine and landing gear systems. The greatest maintenance factor issues were ‘inadequate maintenance procedures’ and ‘inspections not identifying defects’. In terms of fatalities, ‘collision events’ were the most prominent consequence, ‘engine-related events’ were the most significant event, and ‘inadequate maintenance procedures’ were the most concerning maintenance factor. The study’s findings may be used in conjunction with existing risk analysis methodologies and enable the stakeholders to develop generic or customised bowties. This may identify the existing barriers in the system as well as weaknesses which will enable the development of mitigation strategies on both organisational and industry-wide levels. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Development of the Minimum Equipment List: Current Practice and the Need for Standardisation
Aerospace 2020, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7010007 - 17 Jan 2020
Abstract
As part of the airworthiness requirements, an aircraft cannot be dispatched with an inoperative equipment or system unless this is allowed by the Minimum Equipment List (MEL) under any applicable conditions. Commonly, the MEL mirrors the Master MEL (MMEL), which is developed by [...] Read more.
As part of the airworthiness requirements, an aircraft cannot be dispatched with an inoperative equipment or system unless this is allowed by the Minimum Equipment List (MEL) under any applicable conditions. Commonly, the MEL mirrors the Master MEL (MMEL), which is developed by the manufacturer and approved by the regulator. However, the increasing complexity of aircraft systems and the diversity of operational requirements, environmental conditions, fleet configuration, etc. necessitates a tailored approach to developing the MEL. While it is the responsibility of every aircraft operator to ensure the airworthiness of their aircraft, regulators are also required to publish guidelines to help operators develop their MELs. Currently, there is no approved standard to develop a MEL, and this poses a challenge to both aviation regulators and aircraft operators. This paper reviews current MEL literature, standards and processes as well as MEL related accidents/incidents to offer an overview of the present state of the MEL development and use and reinstate the need for a systematic approach. Furthermore, this paper exposes the paucity of MEL related literature and the ambiguity in MEL regulations. In addition, it was found that inadequate training and guidance on the development and use of MEL as well as lack of prior experience in airworthiness topics can lead to mismanagement and misapplication of the MEL. Considering the challenges outlined above, this study proposes the combination of system engineering and socio-technical system approaches for the development of a MEL. Full article
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