Boeing is streamlining its aircraft production systems at its largest factory – Everett, Washington – trying to cut costs to compete with rival Airbus and chip away at the near-$30 billion deficit created by its 787 Dreamliner.
Dozens of complex robots are replacing humans for such mundane tasks as drilling and riveting, and Boeing is reordering some of its assembly steps to speed up the process.
Russia’s new jetliner, which conducted its maiden flight on Sunday, may have a hard time challenging the sales duopoly of Boeing and Airbus, but it does point the way to radical changes in how they could be building jets in the future.
The MS-21, a new single aisle airliner produced by Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, and its associate company Irkut, is the first passenger plane borne aloft by lightweight carbon-composite wings built without a costly pressurised oven called an autoclave.
Aurora’s Alias system performs various flight scenarios, further demonstrates capabilities
Aurora Flight Sciences’ work on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (Alias) program has further demonstrated its automated flight capabilities with various successful flight scenarios in a Boeing 737 simulator.
These accomplishments build on Aurora’s successful installation and testing of Alias components on a Diamond DA42, Cessna 208 Caravan, UH-1 Iroquois, and DHC-2 Beaver aircraft.
The Hindenburg disaster, in which a massive German airship caught fire while landing in the US, resulting in the deaths of 36 people, occurred in 1937, but even today it’s remembered and thought of as the reason why airships never took to the skies in large numbers.
The powerful images of the accident left many who viewed them with the impression that airships were dangerous, partly because they were filled with gas lighter than air.
Insurance and financial services giant Allianz is warning that exponential growth in the number of drones in the sky carries a wide range of risks
Whether used commercially for industrial inspections, aerial photography, border patrol, emergency deliveries and crop surveys or recreationally by millions, drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have the potential to become a multi-billion dollar business and deliver problem-solving technologies across numerous industries.
However, more drones in the skies also raise a number of new safety concerns, ranging from collisions and crashes to cyber-attacks and terrorism.
Renishaw is contributing its additive manufacturing expertise to a new £17.7 million project, being led by Airbus in the UK, to develop an innovative way of designing and manufacturing aircraft wings, which will encourage a “right first time approach” and reduce development time.
More than 30,000 new aircraft are expected to be required in the next 15-20 years, replacing existing in-service models and also to expand airlines’ fleets as the number of air travellers increases.
Airbus is extending its use of Dassault Systèmes’ 3d design applications to its advanced manufacturing operations.
Airbus, maker of airplanes and satellites among other aerospace products, undertook two years of testing before extending its use of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DExperience platform to its additive manufacturing programs integrating design, simulation and production.
Buying a ticket to outer space will be an everyday activity for millions of people in the future, as common as buying an airline ticket is today, according to an expert.
Paul Kostek, former president of the IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society, says the commercialisation of space is following the same trajectory as the air travel industry.
In an exclusive interview with Robotics and Automation News, Kostek says: “Just looking at the normal evolution of flight, it wasn’t until the 1930s that Boeing introduced the first pressurised planes that allowed them to fly higher… flying became safer.”
Kostek, who is the current principal of Air Direct Solutions, adds that it was approximately 40 or 50 years after the Wright Brothers’ first flight that commercial aircraft came along, with early air travellers being the equivalent of present-day adventurers who buy tickets for trips on Virgin Galactic’s sub-orbital flights.
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