What is aircraft delivery?

Aircraft delivery can occur in two cases. The first case is when a new aircraft was built and is delivered to a customer for the first time. The second case is during lease transitions when an aircraft that was already in operations for some time gets redelivered to a new owner.


The delivery phase is spread over four or five days on average, dependent upon the aircraft programme. A standard delivery procedure takes place as follows:

Day 1: Ground checks: external surfaces, bays and cabin visual inspection, static aircraft system and cockpit checks, engine tests.

Day 2: Acceptance flight: checks during flight of all aircraft systems (including cabin systems) and aircraft behaviour in the whole flight envelope.

Day 3: Physical rework or provision of solutions for all technical and quality obstacles open in delivery.

Day 4: Completion of technical acceptance allowing the issuance of the Certificate of Airworthiness.

Day 5: The aircraft changes owner. Preparation of the aircraft for the ferry flight to its home base.


aircraft lease return preparation

The biggest challenges

All of the specific technical, operational, and legal requirements will be included in an all-encompassing lease agreement, which the Lessor may have perfected over the course of numerous transactions. However, the complexity of such agreements as well as different interests often result in a number of challenges.

Even though many lease agreements are extensive and detailed, no agreement can be completely clear, and certain misunderstandings commonly occur during aircraft delivery and redelivery phases. Such misunderstandings are frequently the result of different mindsets or diverging interests, and may eventually result in difficulties which are costly or time consuming to resolve.

  • Expectations

    A Lessor will look at the entire aircraft life-cycle, which usually consists of several leases. In contrast, the Lessee will only look at its own operation and lease term. As a result, perceptions and interpretations of specific requirements differ quite often.

  • Data collection

    It can be an extremely time-consuming and sometimes impossible task to retrieve all documentation and build a complete historical records file. The reasons are differing expectations and recording standards. Additionally, inspections are often a manual and paper-based processes that are prone to error.

  • Damage recording

    When the found damages are not reflected in the repair reporting it will raise questions if a proper repair is done and if it is well documented. When the paperwork is inappropriate it may cause the involvement of OEM, especially when the repair is outside SRM limits.

To streamline the process, choose the right tool

Because of these challenges it can take up to two months before an aircraft delivery is completed. We believe that this can be avoided.

Robotics have proven to be a suitable solution to standardize approaches. This is especially true when it comes to routine tasks or tasks that require a high level of consistency, precision and accuracy. Preparing aircraft for delivery or redelivery is such a task. Our drone solution offers many advantages which may suit both the Lessee in operation and the Lessor at transition:

Full mapping and aircraft damage assessment

drone inspections

Accurate reporting

engineer using ipad mainblades application

Digital archive with immediate access to all records

demo mainblades ipad reporting for aircraft drone inspections

Are you curious to learn more about how drones can support the aircraft delivery process?

Check out our latest white paper!

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