Warplanes: Aircraft That Can Feel Pain


February4, 2007: After four years of effort, the U.S. Army has developed a sensor system that monitors the structural health of aircraft in flight. Using sensors and software, the LAHMP system alerts the crew to potential, or imminent, failure of structural components. The U.S. Air Force is testing the system as well, and is particularly eager to install the system in the thousands of older aircraft they are using. No one ever expected so many 30 and 40 year old warplanes to still be in service. While the aircraft can be kept in flying conditions via good maintenance and refurbishment, this is largely uncharted territory. Most troubling are unexpected structural problems that are being detected in these older aircraft. LAHMPs will take a lot of the anxiety out of operating these older aircraft.