Ambroise, R. and Godfrey, G., "How to Improve Integration of a Change to Aircraft Engine Control Using ARP6109," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-2428, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-2428.
The smartphone in your pocket, the tablet you use to browse the web, the safety systems in your automobile: they all benefit from fast-evolving computer and electronic component technology. These components are lighter, hold more data, and can perform increasingly complex tasks. This electronic evolution has had an impact in the aviation industry as well. The electronic components used in today's engines can do more than ever before, but the need to replace older components has introduced some added complexity. Until now.The problem is obsolescence. Driven by an ever-demanding consumer market, electrical components - including those used for aircraft engines - are evolving faster than ever. Engine components installed just a few years ago are no longer being made. This means engine manufacturers need to install new models when replacing these older models or when building new engines. Because this is a change in the Bill of Materials, it could impact the engine certification, which in turn could have an impact on aircraft type certification. Evaluating the risk caused by component change would be increasingly difficult to manage without a new standardised process.Published in February 2014, the ARP 6109 provides recommendations to assess the risk associated with changes in engine control electronic units.This paper describes how this standard is used by Airbus to coordinate the aircraft manufacturer process and the engine manufacturer process. It is used as a universal “connector” tool with no impact on the engine manufacturer process.“With ARP 6109, there's a new commonality, a new link between aircraft manufacturer processes and those of our engine manufacturers. The end result is a new standard that doesn't impact our customers and gains efficiency for us and for engine manufacturers.”