A few weeks ago I got a very close look at a F-35, and was able to talk a bit with one of the test pilots. “This is not an aircraft,” he told me. It’s more a kind of spaceship.” I believe he is right. This is not an aircraft, at least not the kind of aircraft we are used to.
Since its creation, hang gliding has progressed solely — and often painfully — through experimentation. But engineering simulation is starting to change that.
The German inventor and flight pioneer Otto Lilienthal made over 2,000 flights as long as 820 feet in gliders he designed and flew in the 1890s. He died in 1896 from injuries sustained in a glider crash, but his well-documented accounts of theories and experiences with flight influenced many of the early aviation pioneers, including the Wright Brothers. Continue reading →
3-D computational fluid dynamics simulation of in-flight icing (3-D CFD-icing) has achieved considerable advances in the last decade , and many dynamic OEMs and second tier suppliers are using them to speed icing certification. Yet, others remain on the fence, using technologies from three decades ago.
The different characteristics of ice, at different locations on an aircraft:
can that be done in 2-D?
The rapid surge in consumer demand for mobility, connectivity and content has fundamentally changed the space industry. Space, as the ultimate vantage point, is a necessary destination to connect 55 percent of the world that does not have access to the internet. With miniaturization of technologies, capabilities that until now required large satellites the size of a bus with a billion-dollar price tag are being challenged by small satellites that are 12 inches long and weigh only 9 pounds. When constellations of 24 to 800 of these small satellites are established in low Earth orbit, the world will enjoy global WiFi, maritime connectivity, real-time navigation maps, precise weather forecasts, virtual reality in space and more. Continue reading →
While attending the AIAA SciTech aerospace event in January I was surprised when the discussion turned to Uber as a space company. Seriously? I understand that Uber is revolutionizing the business model for transporting people, but I thought it was purely terrestrial.
Even though this statement was said somewhat tongue in cheek, with a stretch of the imagination you can see how it can be argued that Uber’s business model is predicated on monetizing data — GPS in this case — that is a product of the space industry. From this follows the (somewhat tenuous) proposition that Uber should be considered a part of this industry.
Unmanned aerial vehicles, in short UAVs or drones, have become very popular both in the industrial and consumer space. With the number of units expected to reach 67 million by 2021 the potential for accidents and collisions with manned air vehicles is real. Understanding and mitigating the impact of UAV collisions using pervasive engineering simulation and explicit dynamics will be the key to helping accelerate the acceptance of drones into commercial airspace without sacrificing safety. Continue reading →
January brings with it not only New Year’s resolutions, but also a time to look forward to one of the highlights in the aerospace calendar — the AIAA SciTech 2017 conference takes place January 9th-13th in Grapevine, Texas, with the theme of full spectrum disruption in aerospace.
And what has been more disruptive in recent years than the rise and acceptance of the commercial space industry? What was not so long ago the terrain of dreamers is now part of the mainstream space industry. Long standing companies in the industry have had to rapidly adjust to this new paradigm. Continue reading →
Aerospace and defense companies share many commonalities in the type of products they produce, the harsh environments within which these products operate and their overriding focus on safety and reliability. However, each of the commercial aircraft, space and defense sectors faces unique market trends. One common response to the pressures they each face is to deliver excellence in engineering simulation and how it is applied to deliver tangible business impact.
This year has been one of significant milestones for the aviation industry. Two examples are Boeing’s hundredth year and the UK Royal Aeronautical Society’s 150th. Times like this provide a chance to reflect on some of the key technical innovations that have made major contributions to performance, safety, comfort, economy, energy innovation and sustainable design in the industry.Continue reading →
Last year marked the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. I recently read an excellent account of the battle by Tim Clayton. What a tremendous difference between the technology available to the soldiers and generals in those days compared with today’s connected soldier. Continue reading →