Aviation Innovation keeps this business vibrant!

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The Wright Brothers’ research and testing resulted in several innovations. None was more important than controlling roll and their invention was to use “wing warping” to allow the pilot to maneuver in this third dimension. New technologies and brilliant engineering add to the vitality of the aeronautical business. Research is providing new operational capabilities, runway safety and visionary aircraft design. Here’s a sampling of exciting new ideas in our industry.

I. GE Aviation engineer explains new advanced materials technology—as engines increase their internal temperatures and pressures, traditional metals (actually the metallurgy of today’s turbines make the term “traditional” an anachronism) could not withstand the stresses. Here, a GE describes the research behind and the characteristics which ceramics matrix composites provide. Fascinating stuff and such future potential!

II. University Researchers Hope To Prevent Icy Airport Runways—the recent Delta 1086 accident at LaGuardia was a reminder of how important runway friction is to snow conditions safety at airports. Iowa State University was already using its academic acumen to search for three methods to prevent snow and ice from collecting on the paved surfaces on airport runways and taxi areas. Additionally, the Ames options are all greener!

III. Poison dart frogs inspires new way to deice planes—an Arizona State University professor on vacation in Panama exposed him to the poison dart frog which live there. No, these unusual jumping amphibians are not going to be attached to aircraft wings like so many leaches, rather the dual structure of their skin—outer for normal contact and inner for excreting their venom—suggested to Dr. Konrad Rykaczewski a new design. His design would coat the wing surface with superhydrophobic coatings and then include antifreeze as the secondary deicing fluid. This concept would reduce the risk and the researchers at ASU believe that their idea is workable.

IV. This incredibly futuristic plane could be the future of airlinersunlike the previous articles, this is only a conceptual design. Its new ideas include: 800 passengers, triple-decked, hydrogen fueled engines, rear electric wind generators, solar panels, rear electric wind generators, 315’ wingspan which can fold for taxiing and storage (talk about wing warping!) , pilot’s class seating with a view like the cockpit crew, among others. Here’s the designer’s vision:


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