Showing posts with label aviation technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aviation technology. Show all posts

Tuesday 8 November 2016

A New Twist on Airplane Wing Design

In one of his greatest work “Codex on the Flight of Birds”, Leonardo da Vinci provided some unique study with almost 500 sketches of flying machine, which is the basis of modern Airplane technology in the contemporary society. The Wright brothers have accomplished the maiden powered flight over hundred years ago, which was controlled by using pulleys and wires to twist and bending of the wings, made of wood and canvas.

Although this system is a quite different one, that is propelled by hinged flaps and the ailerons, which are being used in most of the aircraft since its inception. The aircraft technology has developed in many ways in the last few decades and witnessed some of the most advanced elements in the design and technical know-how.

Now the engineers from MIT and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have developed some hi-tech enchantment, with a new version of bendable and “morphing” wing. This new technology is having some unique features and simplified process of manufacturing that reduces the consumption of fuel by improving the aerodynamics of wings. Some of the features of this basic concept are as follows:
  • The fundamental principle at the back of this new concept is the simple use of an arrangement of tiny and lightweight structural components, which are referred as “digital materials” and can be assembled into almost infinite assortment of shapes. This is such a simple structure manufacturing that can be compared even with the formation of configuration with the help of Lego blocks. The separate pieces are quite strong and rigid in nature, but it can be noted; the precise choice of sizes and the materials and most importantly the geometry of the assembling of pieces, which allow for the exact tuning of suppleness of the shape.

  • According to researchers; the building up of such large and intricate structure, from an arrangement of tiny and indistinguishable building blocks, which have the exceptional grouping of strength, flexibility and light weight, simplifies the manufacturing process to a great extent. This modular structure is also providing the greatest ever simplicity in both the assembly and the disassembly of the construction that means; when the structure is not been needed, it can be dismantled and the entire structure can be taken apart by segregating its separate component parts, which can be reassembled and used for creating some other kinds of structures.

  • Being the composition of different tiny parts; repairing process is also very easy and can be done in a very simple manner e.g. just by replacement of the damaged subunits in a very comfortable manner. The “skin” or the outer coat of the wings is also enhancing the performance of the structure. This “Skin:” is made with the technology of overlapping strips, made of flexible materials and layered as bird’s feather or somewhat like fish scales, which allows the pieces in moving across, while the wings flexes but still provide the most smoothened outer surface. It is ascertained that the primary use of this technology can be for making of tiny and robotic aircraft at the initial stage.

Friday 30 September 2016

Technology: Soon You Can Own a Jet


The Personal Jet – A New Category of Aircraft

A new category of aircraft called `The Personal Jet’ has been created by Cirrus Aircraft to reimagine and reinvent the jet airplane wherein the $2million single-engine SF50 Vision Jet of the firm will be equipped with features and would not need a professional pilot. Cirrus had been established in 1984 and has its base in Minnesota. It is also known for producing the VK-30 kit aircraft in 1987.

 The firm has stated that they are adhering to the tradition and have designed a seamless monocoque carbon fuselage `which is lighter and stronger making it the state-of-the-art pressure vessel in its class’ The aircraft manufacturer has included its Airframe Parachute System which had saved more than 90 lives in the earlier variants. The new jet, according to Cirrus would be transforming personal travel and would be ready to fly towards the end of this year.

Presently, Cirrus is waiting for the approval of Federal Aviation Administration and after it has been awarded, the firm would be in a position of fulfilling over 600 deliveries to individuals who have already provided the deposit including head coach Rick Carlisle of Dallas Mavericks, according to reports from Barrons.

A Revolution in Personal Transportation

The Cirrus Aircraft website reads - `not requiring a full-time professional pilot or a full blown flight department, the Vision Jet fills the untapped void between high performance pistons and the Very Light Jet. Simpler to fly and easier to operate and own, the Vision Jet is truly a revolution in personal transportation.It makes jet performance accessible to pilots and aircraft owners who till now could only dream’.

The Vision Jet tends to fit in a standard 40-foot hanger which is about 11 feet tall having a wingspan of 38 feet. The Cirrus Aircraft designed this personal aircraft with the essential amenities is required for a day in the air. states that those who desire to fly the craft would need to complete jet-type rating course, though the jet maker had mentioned a full-time professional pilot would not be needed. But also for the first time flyers, the control display has been designed to make piloting very easy.

Capability of Personalizing How Information can be Presented

The five passengers would be having access to the full airplane parachute, zoned climate controls together with airbag seat belts, leather interior, USB charging ports and huge windows to enable the five passengers to take in the locations.

According to Flight Club, pilots would have the capability of personalizing how the information tends to be presented on two touch screens in the cockpit, like the automatic pressurization scheduling, weather radar data in real-time, satellite phone integration, text messaging and much more. The Vision Jet has a tendency to cruise at 300 knots true airspeed – KTAS, 345m miles per hour, utilising its 33 turbofan which tends to produce 1,800 pounds of thrust.

When the jet seems to hit around 28,000 feet in the air, it is said that the aircraft gets pressurized to simulate an 8,000 foot cabin. Consumers interested in purchasing have the choice of upgrading to seven seats, with an addition of entertainment display, Wi-Fi ground link together with improved real-time weather radar.

Monday 22 August 2016

Airline Cabins Of the Future- A New Golden Age of Travel


Air Travel Experience Renovated with Technology

In comparison to the air travel photos of the 1960s which portray smartly attired, champagne sipping passengers in a spacious airliner cabins, the present scenario is that of cramped seats with overcrowded airports which appears that our flying experiences seems to be gradually getting worse. The aviation industry has invested immensely in order to demonstrate sentimental passengers, the mistake.

Though the aircraft may seem to be the same to those of the supposed wonderful years but each aspect of air travel experience is being renovated currently, with the use of technology. At the front position we have the aircraft cabins and the fundamental to their transformation is that of a wireless connection. With every passenger practically using a smartphone, tablet or a laptop, the inflight Wi-Fi tends to open up new means of commitment with the travellers and redefine their flying experience.

Mobile technology has already being playing an important part in improving travel accompanied with electronic boarding passes to last-minute bids on biz upgrades on class. Other airlines such as KLM had also begun sending boarding passes as well as flight alerts, through dedicated airline Facebook Messenger chat bot.

Inflight Entertainment/Personal Devices

However, the one area wherein mobile could be accurately transformative is the inflight entertainment together with personal devices being a gateway to a range of up-in-the-air services. Though built-in-in-flight entertainment systems seem doubtfulto disappear, especially on long-haul flights, they could work in tandem with the own devices of the passengers.

Panasonic had unveiled Waterfront, earlier in 2016 which is a system that permits passenger in utilising their mobile handset in order to control the built-in entertainment of the aircraft. Aerospace companies Thales and B/E have also been utilising mobiles in personalizing passenger experiences.

On syncing the handsets, the seats tend to know the preferences of a passenger and could also restart a movie at the precise place they could have left in the earlier flight. Some of the airlines are discarding the implanted entertainment systems completely and are opting for he handsets of the passengers in delivering inflight entertainment, which is a change that significantly lessens aircraft weight and more cabin space.

Cost Effective/Flexible Means of Quality Inflight Content

Internet connection is not needed and passengers could only link their devices to an in-plane network. AirFi, Netherlands-based is mostly preparing low-cost airlines which tend to fly short-haul single-aisle aircraft often and does not have entertainment systems. The portable wireless system of the company beams pre-loaded content on the devices of the passenger.

The AirFi terminal tends to perform like a normal Internet router which is lightweight and can be installed in a luggage compartment with ease. Job Heimerikx, AirFi CEO had stated that it is cost effective as well as a flexible means of providing quality inflight content to the short haul market. He further added that `there are customer service and a commercial angle to the system and passenger could access a broad range of movies together with other kind of entertainment though they could also utilise it to order food or shop duty free.

It seems like an evolution of the traditional inflight magazine but since it occurs at online stores, one could make it really personal’. This conception tends to flourish on obtaining a captive audience.

Wednesday 27 July 2016

When Will F-35 Be Ready for Battle?


F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – Most Expensive Weapon in History

The fifth generation fighter plane, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is said to be the most expensive weapon in history and in spite of costing $400 billion for 2,457 planes, it has been afflicted with problems. A new report has stated that the craft could eventually be ready for battle later this year.

According to Defence One, Gen. Herbert `Hawk’ Carlisle, the head of Air Combat Command, at the Royal International Air Tattoo, in England, had stated that they are getting very close to initial operational capability. He added that he will make the call and coordinate with the Secretary, (Deborah Lee) James and Gen (David) Goldfein – the Air Force chief of staff and make the decision on when they intend declaring IOC.

To be ready for battle, around a dozen single F-35 need to demonstrate their capability to drop bombs and shoot down other planes. Each jet should be progressed to an explicit software package and persevered in the intricate logistic cloud which tends to accomplish maintenance.

The target date had been set for August 1 by the F-35 project office and it is believed a squadron at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base, north of Salt Lake City would now be the declared battle ready somewhere between August and December.

Project Weighed down with Delays

The project has been weighed down with delays. Senator John McCain had informed senior Pentagon officials earlier in the year that the record on cost, schedule as well as performance of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter had been a scandal and a tragedy.

McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee had stated that the development schedule of the aircraft had extended to 15 years, deliveries of the F-35 has been delayed while the cost had hit the roof. Recently the problems with its logistics software system had grounded the complete fleet.

 The problem lies with what the Department of Defense officials call the `brain’ of plane, also called the Autonomic Logistics Information System – ALIS. A report from a Government Accountability Office states that a failure `could take the complete fleet offline’, since there seems to be no backup system.

Runs on Ground Computers

Moreover, the report has also stated that a lack of testing done of the software would mean it is not ready for its disposition by the Air Force in August and the Navy in 2018. The brains of the F-35 are said to be one of three main components, with the other two being the engine and airframe.

 It has been pointed out by CNN that the software tends to run on ground computers instead of operating the same on the plane. It has been designed to assist operations, mission planning as well as to spot any issues of maintenance with the vehicle.

 The report also stated that the program officials had informed that if ALIS is not fully functional, the F-35 would not be operated as often as planned.However, a DoD specially made plan observed that schedule slippage and functionality issues with ALIS could result in $20-100 billion as extra costs’.

The software till now has been so defective that the maintenance crews had to resort to labour intensive substitutes. In one instance, according to National Interest, maintainers had to physically burn data onto the CDs and send the huge files across a national Wi-Fi network.

Saturday 9 April 2016

Airbus Patents Radical Design With Wraparound Engines Along its Body


Airbus Patent – Replacement of Large Engines under Wing

Airbus has filed a patent which recommends the replacement of the large engines under the wing with multi-fan jet engines which wrap around the fuselage of the airplane. The design is said to scoop up air, pushing it over the exterior of the engine in order to provide extra thrust. However, the engine nacelles would be blocking the sky-high views that flyers tend to enjoy from the window seat.

The window seat is a sought after section on an airplane but the new design would now make it the least favourite place. The aircraft manufacturers seem to be working constantly in enhancing propulsive efficiency without the need of changing the design of the plane. The patent published on Espacenet reads - `in the aeronautical industry, the current trend in turbofan design is to increase the bypass ratio in order to improve fuel consumption through increased propulsive, efficiency and to reduce noise on ground.

In conventional turbofan engines, the pursuit of higher propulsive efficiency needs increasing the fan diameter in order to produce a higher by-pass mass flow at lower slipstream velocities’. Sources reports that some may state that several airliners tend to use jet engines though they essentially use the ones which look like jet engines and are actually just turbofans.

Quest for Powerful & Efficient Engines

The difference between the two is, a jet engine tends to use thrust of the exhaust in order to manoeuvre and this system seems to work amazingly in small fighter planes though to use it for a commercial airliner would need too much fuel. A turbofan engine tends to have a turbo jet engine as its centre and the thrusts seems to move the craft though it uses a huge fan on the front to scoop up air and push it over the outside engine to provide the extra thrust for the plane.

The quest for more powerful and efficient engines, according to Airbus has led to bigger and bigger turbofans which are quickly reaching the design limitations. Multi-fan engine can be fixed to the fuselage of the aircraft which will enable the fans to scoop up airflow, moving it over the engine and providing the plane with an extra thrust.

View Blocked by Engine Nacelles

But the drawback is that the flyers would not be in a position to catch the sites from the sky anymore since their view would be blocked by the engine nacelles. Airbus also intends proposing a design which would be replacing the huge fan with a group of smaller ones but this is not a new concept.

 The firm has additional details in the patent which have not been taken into account earlier. The patent states that `a multi-fan engine including a gas turbine engine, a casing and fans encased by geared rings that connect with the geared rings of an adjacent fan like the rotation of one fan rotates the other fans’.By applying the geared rings to individual fans, the amount of torque is controlled by adjusting linear actuators.

The design would tend to be lighter since the need for heavy gearboxes and shafts that generally sit adjacent to the fan will not be needed which will free up plenty of space. With the use of these components, the inspections and servicing of the fans would be more convenient.

Sunday 8 November 2015

Hypersonic Rocket Engine Could 'Revolutionize' Air Travel


Breakthrough Aerospace Engine Technology – Revolutionize Air Travel

BAE Systems, British aerospace giant, is staking big on hypersonic travel, something which its prospective new partner states could be a reality in two decades. BAE has plans of investing around £20.6 million in a 20% stake of a UK based engineering firm, Reaction Engines which has invented a breakthrough aerospace engine technology that could probably be utilised for a new generation of reusable space vehicle as well as a commercial offshoot that could revolutionize air travel.

BAE’s website states that the partnership would enable alliance on SABRE technology of Reaction Engines, a new aerospace engine class which tends to combine jet as well as rocket technologies with the capabilities of transforming hypersonic flight and the economics of space access.

Together with hypersonic air travel, Reaction Engines’ managing director, Mark Thomas informed CNN’s Richard Quest that reusable space plane which takes off like an aircrafts is said to be one of the concepts which would be made available by this engine. SABRE – Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine, is an air-breathing engine that tends to use ultra-lightweight heat exchangers in order to cool off very hot air streams like those faced at hypersonic speeds

Technology Empowers Aircraft

According to Reaction Engines conveyed in a press release on its website, the technology tends to empower the aircraft to operate at speeds of up to five times the speed of sound or fly directly into Earth orbit, easily. With its capacity to utilise atmospheric oxygen for thrust, the engine’s design denies the need for heavy fuel reserves on boards thereby reducing the weight of a SABRE powered vehicle.

As per BAE’s statement, it says that SABRE can also transition to a rocket mode enabling spaceflight at speed up to orbital velocity or 25 times the speed of sound. The design has been described as an absolutely revolutionary, visionary concept by Thomas.

He has clarified that `SABRE is a rocket engine at heart but can breathe air whenever it is in the atmosphere and hence it is not essential to carry so much liquid oxygen on board the vehicle. It enormously decreases the weight and one can put that in vehicle design capability or payload’.

Advanced Heat Exchanger – Ease Hypersonic Air Temperature

The fundamental aspect of the engine’s design is the company’s advanced heat exchanger that tends to ease hypersonic air temperature by more than a thousand degrees in a hundredth of a second. The company is said to be focusing on enhancing the engine and according to Thomas, BAE would be helping in translating its potential into a range of practical applications.

BAE’s anticipated 20% investment is awaiting the approval of Reaction Engine’s shareholders. Reaction Engines had announced that it would partner with defense multinational BAE System in a working collaboration in order to create its supersonic plane SABRE. BAE had purchased 20% of Reaction Engines offering the strategic investment essential in accelerating the project, a form of jet rocket engine hybrid.

As per Reaction Engines, driving Sabre seems to be a brand new form of aerospace engine that enable the operation of planes from a standstill on the landing strip to speeds that is five times more than the speed of sound in the atmosphere.

Monday 27 July 2015

Electric Planes Usher in the Second Great Age of Aviation


Since the beginning of the year 2015, a rapid advancement has been made in the field of aviation through electric planes. The new breed of electric plane pilots is much more focused inspired and determined to stretch the boundaries in every manner possible with new electric propulsion system.

In July this year one such pilot name Hugues Duval successfully landed his tiny electric plane cleverly christened Cri-Cri in Calais France. This tiny electric plane flew over the English Channel and came back again which demonstrates the potential of new era electric plane in an astounding manner. This feat even reminds the greatest moment in the aviation history when the very first plane successfully crossed the English Channel way back in 1909.

Electric flights growing in number over the years

The flying of electric planes intent towards breaking into avenues and creating records isn’t new in itself. Electric planes flying in the sky is rather an unregulated corner of the aviation sector where a large number of ambitious plane builders and extremely brave pilots are making their foray. These determined individuals whom some term as skyward dreamers had certainly invented a new age of aviation, which seeks to provide a healthy way commuting in future without further damaging our dear planet Earth.

The earliest example of electric plane and today’s advancement

The earliest flight of an electric plane can be traced back to 1973 West Germany where plane builders worked towards flying planes with the help of batteries. The energy density and outburst of potential energy for flying the planes is still short of the gasoline based planes today. Even the most advanced electric plane at the moment can get easily outperformed by the fuel-powered planes in terms of power capacity as well as speed.

But electric planes offer a great room for further growth and advancement which is a good sign. The essential component for developing an electric plane such as batteries and others are becoming more affordable with technological advancement. This means that in upcoming days we will be able to see more exciting electric plane with more power and capabilities.

Some of Smart and Efficient Electric Planes

Elektra One Solar has produced a remarkable flight capability by flying from Germany to two Austrian airports and coming back on June 25. It is a single seater solar powered electric plane, which has shown that with solar power one can easily span a couple of hundred miles by staying at an altitude of over 10,000 feet.
Another solar powered electric plane named Solar Impulse made a sensational flight of 118 hours wherein it covered 4,500 miles from Japan and landed successfully in Hawaii on July 3. Incidentally this flight’s epic ocean crossing caused damage to its batteries which has resulted in keeping its round the world journey on hold.

However, the most thrilling moment of this year’s remarkable electric plane flight is the one carried on in Cri-Cri plane. In this flight, the pilot Duval has put his trust upon a plane to cross over thousands of miles of frigid water.