Apart from the fact that Boeing and Raytheon, like most companies in the world today, use social media and have a Facebook page, what at a core product level do these three companies have in common? Not a lot you might think. Well think again.
Facebook recently announced that it is building an aircraft (video) that has a similar wingspan to a Boeing 737. What is more, when flying at 60,000 ft. this aircraft will be able to transmit information over 10 miles using lasers to hit a point no bigger than a dime at a data transfer rate in the 10s of Gigabits per second. Right in the domain of expertise of companies like Raytheon. Talk about the convergence of the Internet of Things and the aerospace and defense industry! Continue reading
Like many others, I am delighted to see the progress made over recent years by some of the major aircraft manufacturers to deliver significant improvements in fuel efficiency and associated environmental impact. Popular media examples are the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350. Improving the performance of aircraft like these involves almost every system and component of the aircraft from the engines, aerodynamics and aerostructures to the vast array of power, mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems and beyond. It cascades from the OEMs right down through the supply chain.
At the recent Paris Airshow, some Boeing test pilots dramatically demonstrated exactly what can be achieved with these new aircraft. Breathtaking.These truly are game changing aircraft. Continue reading
Four years ago, as a high school sophomore, I began work on an independent project that explored ways to improve the performance of high-lift systems used on the Airbus A330-300. One of the biggest challenges facing me was how to best conduct experiments to assess the performance of the different designs. In prior years, I had conducted simple research on aircraft wing design and aeroelasticity using unpowered balsa models of the aircraft being tested. To employ this same method would be unworkable for the relatively complex systems of flaps and slats required by the Airbus aircraft. I would have needed to build a larger scale model or perform wind-tunnel testing — neither of which was viable because I did not have access to equipment of the complexity required. Continue reading
Watching the news recently I saw a video of an aircraft landing without one of its landing gear fully deployed. Wonderful job by the pilots and crew.
As it turns out, it is not that difficult to find other on-camera examples.
Looking back at my blogs this year, in February I talked about the ANSYS’ acquisition of the assets of NTI, Inc, which now enables us to offer the most comprehensive solution for integrated aerodynamic and icing simulations. The picture I shared was of a typical winter scene at a New Hampshire airport — the view of the de-icing process from inside an aircraft. Then in April, with Spring very much upon us, I talked about the upcoming event in Italy in partnership with CIRA. I am very pleased to report that this event went very well with over one hundred delegates and speakers from leading companies such as GE, Safran and Airbus. Thanks to all our speakers and to all who attended. So why do I think I may have missed the summer and the fall? Continue reading
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has become an integral part of product design and development. Today, CFD is extensively used across industries like Aerospace, Automotive, Marine, Oil and Gas, Electronics, Health care, Process and Infrastructure. While CFD tools provide detailed engineering insights and shorter product development cycles at reduced cost, CFD community is constantly working hard to improve accuracy, speed and ease of use of these tools. Complex physical phenomenon such as detailed chemistry, primary atomization, electro-chemistry, icing formation are constantly investigated and newer, better and accurate numerical models are introduced in CFD tool. Continue reading
The recent and very significant fall in oil prices has been very welcome as far as the cost of heating is concerned. Sure the days are becoming perceptibly warmer and there is a feeling that we have finally turned the corner from Winter to Spring. While I personally welcome the reduced expenditure, I am glad to see that this recent downward shift in oil prices has not caused the aerospace industry to lose focus on the long term, interconnected objectives of reducing fuel usage and environmental impact. Continue reading
Embedded software in today’s aircraft is becoming continually larger and more complex. For example, the volume of embedded software in the A300 was a few thousand lines and it is in the order of 100 million in the A380. Moreover, a sizeable part of this software is safety critical. Hence, delivering certified code is one of the critical path design elements that is growing in significance. Continue reading