10 New Advancements in Aerospace Simulation with ANSYS 17.0

Over the few weeks, a collection of posts from my colleagues talking about an incredibly wide range of new features and capabilities in ANSYS 17.0. Changes that make a true step change in the performance, insight and productivity you derive from ANSYS technology.

On their own, this is very impressive. However, these features and capabilities are not developed in isolation. They are developed as part of a cohesive strategy to deliver integrated technology that impacts not only your experience with our software, but also provides a solution to your product development goals. Continue reading

Avionics System Engineering: A Complex Problem Demands an Advanced Solution

avionics system engineering cockpitAs one of today’s avionics system engineers, you have a difficult task —  integrating a diverse range of functionally complex components, provided by multiple suppliers, into a system that is reliable enough  to ensure consistent aircraft performance and passenger safety. You also need to understand and meet numerous regulatory operating systems and protocols, including ARINC 653, ARINC 429, CAN and ARINC 664. Continue reading

Composites Curing Problems

Boeing celebrates 100 years in 2016

Boeing celebrates 100 years in 2016

The past few months have seen some milestones in aviation. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) of India passed through its 75th anniversary. This was, in part, celebrated with a really nice series of articles in Aeromag Asia (I particularly like the article on page 62, but I would say that wouldn’t I?). This year also marks Boeing’s 100th year. And I am sure there are others I am missing. The links I provided above take you to a showcase of the many highlights across these time periods. Quite breathtaking when you see the collections in one place. Congratulations to both companies! Continue reading

Aerospace Innovations at AIAA SciTech 2016

aiaa scitech aerospaceLast week members of our team were at the AIAA SciTech 2016 conference in San Diego, California, USA. It was a busy week with several plenary talks, panel discussions, award lectures, work group meetings, many parallel tracks of paper presentations and an exposition. Continue reading

In With The New But Not Out With The Old

AIAA SciTechThe end of one year and the start of another is often a time of reflection and change, a time to welcome in the new. For me, this is also a time to look forward to the annual meeting that is the AIAA SciTech event, one of, if not the, largest gathering for the aerospace research, development and technology community. Continue reading

Advancing Solid Rocket Propulsion System Design

concordeIt has now been over a decade since commercial travelers were able to experience supersonic flight on the Concorde aircraft. News items will periodically surface about the possibility of travel across the Atlantic in an hour or less, but these are usually media hype based on a recently filed patent or publication. The reality is that we are still many years away from a commercial aircraft that can match the speed of Concorde. And, this is a plane that first flew close to 50 years ago. Who knows how far away we are from the transportation technologies we were supposed to have on the recently passed Back to the Future Day, October 21st 2015. Continue reading

Lightning Strikes Airplane – Clever Engineers Save the Day

Earlier this year we experienced a quite severe storm with thunder and lightning here in New Hampshire in the US. While this is not in itself unusual, it sticks in my mind because it brought a tree down on my garage. Fortunately the damage was only superficial, no one was hurt and it was repaired relatively quickly. However, since then I pay a bit more attention either during storms or when I read about the effects of them in the press.

airplane lightning strikeSo it will be of no surprise that a recent “lightning strikes airplane” headline caught my eye.

If you watch the video below, I think you will agree it is spectacular and also a little frightening, particularly if, like me, you fly extensively. Continue reading

Defense Technology and A Coat of Paint: The Difference Between Winning and Losing

Defense technology news has been awash recently with stories of the defeat of the Lockheed Martin F35 Joint Strike Fighter during a dog fight with a 40 year old fighter, the F16. Of course, such sensational stories are to be expected for an aircraft program that is under the microscope, particularly when it is alleged that the test pilot stated that the “F35 is at a distinct energy disadvantage” when it comes to maneuverability.

But just as quick was the response from the F35 team. According to the Washington Post, Pentagon officials pointed out that one of the key technologies that was missing from the F35 that was tested in the dog fight was its “special stealth coating” — or literally an extra coat of, albeit very expensive, paint. Continue reading

What do Facebook, Boeing and Raytheon Have in Common?

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

Composites? Not as Lame as Some Would Have You Believe

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