Modern aircraft systems are system of systems involving multidisciplinary engineering viz., aeronautical/aerospace, RF, computer science, electrical, electronics, mechanical and electromechanical, etc. The maintenance of such a system becomes complex when a system is to be operational on the 24 × 7 basis. Commercial aircraft travel thousands of miles everyday and restless schedule of takeoff, landing, and turn around to do it again. Similarly, military aircraft undergo rigorous and continuous operations during war and trial exercises. In both the cases, human lives are directly at risk if the aircraft maintenance is not proper. In addressing the aircraft system requirements, the normal tendency is to deal primarily with those elements of the aircraft system that relates directly to the aircraft performance for flying. At the same time, very little attention is given to periodic maintenance and aircraft health monitoring system until the system fails and needs breakdown maintenance. This breakdown maintenance consumes more resources in terms of time, cost, and manpower. With the advent of different embedded smart sensors, online health monitoring of such complex aircraft systems can be possible. The health of the different components of the aircraft systems can be monitored continuously and necessary preventive action can be taken immediately before it fails. This paper introduces the use of various embedded smart sensors to detect and monitor the health issues or failure of different components of the aircraft, ultimately enabling proactive maintenance to prevent aircraft subsystems/components from breakdowns. © 2019, Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.