How Do You Optimize the Structure of the World’s Largest…

How Do You Optimize the Structure of the World’s Largest…

Feb 12, 2018

“How Do You Optimize the Structure of the World’s Largest All-Composite Aircraft?” Featured in Design-2-Part Magazine Manufacturers of the Stratolaunch air-launch platform used Collier Research’s automated sizing and analysis software to inform laminate design and production, optimize the fuselage and wing structure, and reduce weight. NEWPORT NEWS, Va.—When the Stratolaunch aircraft rolled out of the Mojave, California Air and Space Port hangar last spring in preparation for ground testing, it was a clear example of how far the design and manufacturing of composite materials have progressed in recent years. In September, the first phase of engine testing on the aircraft’s six Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines was completed.   The world’s largest aircraft by wingspan (wider than a football field is long) is almost entirely fabricated from composite materials, which provide light weight, high stiffness, and strength characteristics that are increasingly in demand in aerospace, automotive, sports, medical, and industrial fields. But when you’re building the world’s largest all-composite aircraft, how do you know it can carry the load? One option is to test the materials using HyperSizer, a computer-aided engineering (CAE) software product from  Collier Research Corporation. The simulation software has already been used to test materials used in Bell’s V280 helicopter, the NASA Orion crew module, the Ares 1, the Ares 5, and many commercial rockets across the globe. And recently, engineers used HyperSizer to simulate, analyze, and optimize the composite structures that make up most of the Stratolaunch aircraft. Stratolaunch (www.stratolaunch.com) is the brainchild of Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, and Burt Rutan, the noted aircraft designer who founded Scaled Composites. It is a 238-foot-long jet aircraft with two fuselages that are connected by a giant single wing. Designed to serve as a mobile launch pad for carrier rockets, Stratolaunch is powered by six engines that will enable it to take off from a runway carrying a payload of up to 550,000 pounds.  The plan is to fly to 35,000 feet, the cruising altitude of a commercial airliner, and release the launch vehicle’s payload, and then return to the airport for reuse. It is expected to operate in 2019. Collier Research’s HyperSizer optimization software was used extensively by Stratolaunch manufacturer Scaled Composites...

Meet the Giant Robot That Builds Boeing’s Airplane Wings

Meet the Giant Robot That Builds Boeing’s Airplane Wings

Oct 24, 2016

By Wired Building something as large as a 737 wing takes an even bigger machine. Boeing’s Panel Assembly Line (PAL) is the 60 ton, 20 feet tall, friendly robot that always lends a rather large hand.      ...

Stratasys launches two new 3D printers, partners with Boeing…

Stratasys launches two new 3D printers, partners with Boeing…

Sep 21, 2016

“Stratasys launches two new 3D printers, partners with Boeing and Ford on applications” By Alison DeNisco, TechRepublic Two new 3D printers from Stratasys could revolutionize aerospace and automobile manufacturing, the company announced Wednesday. The machines represent the next step in large-scale 3D printing for manufacturing, which experts say will completely change the field in the next decade. The Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator and the Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator expand the company’s Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology across manufacturing to more efficiently build bigger, stronger, higher-quality parts. Stratasys also partnered with Boeing to define the requirements and specifications for the Infinite-Build to meet their needs for customized flight parts. Ford Motor Company is also exploring the machine’s abilities for car manufacturing, Stratasys announced. Both the aerospace and automobile industries face pressure to continue to innovate and evolve—not only in performance, but in time to market, said Scott Sevcik, director of manufacturing platform development at Stratasys. Industry leaders are considering how to gain a competitive edge by offering a more differentiated passenger experience, whether in flight or on the road. “These industries are looking strongly toward 3D printing as a critical enabler to meet those needs going forward,” Sevcik said. “It offers the freedom of design, to be able to create parts that you could not make before with traditional processes.” The new machines further Stratasys’ efforts in large-scale manufacturing with 3D printing. In June, the company announced a partnership with Toyota division Daihatsu, offering 10 different 3D printed designs and patterns that owners can customize for the Copen two-door convertible. While 3D printing has been used on a small scale for race car parts in the past, these projects represent the industry’s first move into more mainstream auto manufacturing. Rise of 3D printing manufacturing The adoption of industrial 3D printing continues to grow, with global spending on printers reaching nearly $11 billion in 2015. Spending is predicted to rise to about $27 billion by 2019, according toInternational Data Corporation. About two-thirds of US manufacturers are currently adopting 3D printing in some way, an April PricewaterhouseCoopers report found—roughly the same number as did in 2014. However, 51% are using it for prototyping and final products, compared to...

Getting ready for smart manufacturing within the…

Getting ready for smart manufacturing within the…

Jul 25, 2016

“Getting ready for smart manufacturing within the aerospace industry” By Paul Simon, Managing Director, ConsultEP Airbus and Boeing are pushing their supply chain to heroic efforts by ramping up production rates, whilst driving cost down, on existing and new aircrafts. This huge industrial challenge already has caused delays due to the numerous backward-looking supply chain management approaches being used: Wiring problems delayed the Airbus A380 supper-jumbo; Outsourcing snared Boeing’s 787 long-haul aircraft; Software bedevilled the Airbus A400M military transporter; Software glitches and slow engine start associated with P&W engine set back the deliveries of A320neos; Deliveries of A350 were impeded by late arrivals of lavatories and business seats from Zodiac Aerospace factories in the US. As a consequence, the aerospace industry has began the race to achieve a dramatic improvement in cost efficiency and operational effectiveness by implementing Industrial 4.0 / Smart factories. Since the Industrial Revolution, there have been five distinct waves of innovation, called Kondratieff waves, each of which began with disruptive new technologies and ended with global depression. The 4th and 5th waves, corresponding to the 3rd Industrial Revolution from 1970 to 2010, brought the explosion in machine technologies in our factories. In 1975, for the first time, we introduced computer technology on the shop floor in the form of Numerically Controlled (NC) equipment. Even before this technology was widespread, in 1980, we launched the next generation, Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) and Direct Numerically Controlled (DNC) equipments, which were interlinked and controlled from a single computer. By 1985, we started using Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS), which are capable of handling small lot production and rapidly changing product design. We are now on the cusp of the 4th Indutrial Revolution, which corresponds to the sixth Kondratieff wave. Within the aerospace industry, innovations in new composite material technology, Additive Manufacturing technology, Cyber-Physical systems, Internet Of Things and Internet Systems are coalescing into a smart manufacturing platform that will deliver vast superior cost efficiencies and better operational effectiveness. These smart manufacturing platforms allow the visualisation of the entire production network and allow individual equipment to make decisions on its own. In the automotive industry, which was early adopters, they are capable of handling a...

Boeing shows off capabilities of new 787-9

Boeing shows off capabilities of new 787-9

Jul 13, 2016

By Michael Cruickshank, The Manufacturer US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has this week shown off the aerobatic capabilities of its recently released 787-9 jet. This large passenger jet is one the most high-tech passenger aircraft in the world, and Boeing is keen to show off its prowess. Throughout a newly-released video, the 787-9 is filmed conducting a number of aerobatic moves which push the aircraft above and beyond its standard operating conditions. One of the more spectacular of these manoeuvres is a near-vertical take off, more reminiscent of a military fighter plane, than a commercial wide-body craft. In addition, the aircraft is seen conducting a touch-and-go landing, a critical ability in an emergency situation. Finally, Boeing also demonstrated the 787-9’s ability to conduct high-banking turns that show ‘wing flex’. The aircraft in the video was flown by 3 Boeing test pilots: Capt. Van Chaney, Capt. John Misuradze, and Capt. Randy Neville. The flights themselves were conducted on an ANA (All Nippon Airlines) 787-9, the first launch customer for the aircraft series. Following the video, the same aircraft will be flown between July 11 and 13 at the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough in the UK. 787 development continues This primary purpose of this video was for Boeing to show off the latest model of its 787 jet which is currently in production. While earlier 787 designs already made use of carbon fiber construction, larger windows, and lower-altitude pressurization, the 787-9 features a number of significant changes. These include a longer and stronger fuselage able to typically seat around 280 people, and an increased flying range of 14,140 km on a full tank of fuel. Right now over one hundred 787-9 aircraft have been delivered by Boeing, with the company claiming to have received so-far 571 orders by 38 customers worldwide for these planes. The continuing advancement of this aircraft and its strong sales figures, show that Boeing has seen success in pushing past some of the teething problems associated with the 787, most of which were linked to faulty...