An innovative system designed by The Boeing Company that condenses 103,000 pages of aircraft maintenance procedures for the AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter into a single computer CD-ROM has been honored by the American Helicopter Society.
Boeing earned the 1998 Harry T. Jensen award for its Class IV interactive electronic technical manual (IETM), which is in service with the U.S. Army. Soldiers doing maintenance work on the Apache Longbows are using the IETM in the field on portable computers.
The award will be presented at a May 26 ceremony at the Society's annual forum in Montreal.
The Harry T. Jensen award recognizes outstanding contribution to the improvement of helicopter reliability, supportability, maintainability or safety through improved design.
The Class IV IETM stores data in a hierarchical manner, making it easier for users to obtain and use maintenance data for the aircraft. The Army will be able to reduce maintenance costs with the IETM because technicians are lead quickly and accurately through repair and maintenance procedures.
The information on the IETM provides rapid access from one CD-ROM to 52 maintenance operational checks, 2,500 fault isolation procedures, 70,000 maintenance tasks, 49,000 spare parts, 10,000 illustrations/schematics and all of the applicable descriptive information.
The first IETMs entered service last year with the members of the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, who were certified as the U. S. Army's first combat-ready Apache Longbow battalion.
"Maintainers no longer need to carry bulky manuals into the field or work from memory," said Robert Worsham, new programs manager for instructional systems and technical publications at Boeing in St. Louis. "IETM is neatly packaged on one CD-ROM and unlike earlier electronic technical manuals for other aircraft or equipment, the Apache Longbow IETM is fully interactive."
The IETM, which also has commercial applications, earned a meritorious achievement award from the American Helicopter Society in 1997 for fielding the world's first Class IV IETM to incorporate 100 percent of the on- and at-aircraft maintenance requirements for a major weapon system.