Air Transport World

In search of the paperless hangar. (aircraft maintenance manuals being published on CD-ROMs)

It may not be quite the "paperless" hangar that airline maintenance executives and technicians have dreamed about for years. But it's close.

"It" is a 4 3/4-in. CD-ROM platter that can contain up to 250,000 pages of maintenance-manual and parts-catalog text and illustrations. It not only allows a mechanic to find the documentation he needs in about 5 sec. by clicking a mouse rather than leafing through books or scrolling through eye-straining microfilm, but its attached laser printer produces working diagrams and drawings that actually can be read!

Pioneering in the use of CD-ROM--compact disk, read-only memory--manuals are British Airways and American Airlines. Both have implemented the Pinpoint System from Maxwell Data Management (MDM) that for the moment has no competitors, though other systems are under development.

American, says program manager Mike Conley, is using FAA-approved CD-ROM maintenance manuals and illustrated parts catalogs for its Boeing 757,767 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80 fleets, and will implement the system for the MD-11, A300 and Fokker 100 next year. It has some 350 CD-ROM work-stations--consisting of DOS-based PCs outfitted with 386 processors and Microsoft Windows, CD readers and laser printers--at 43 locations.

MDM plans to deliver proof-of-concept manuals on a Macintosh platform to American Eagle in August, initially for the Saab 340 and later for the ATR 42 and BAe Jetstream 31. …

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