Seemingly randomly, two different publications wrote contemporaneously about three different projects, all of which portend that aviation will continue to be stimulated by innovation. That’s exciting and encouraging.
The first reports collaboration between General Electric Aviation’s Evendale, Ohio world headquarters and he University of Cincinnati Research Institute (UCRI). The two organizations have created the GE Aviation Research Center. GE will invest $100 million in capital improvements at the joint facility and the University will dedicate faculty members and students to research targeted future scientific/engineering projects, such as:
· Advanced low-emission combustion.
· Ceramic matrix composites (CMCs)
· Aircraft Energy and Thermal Management.
This applied research will draw from the existing theoretical knowledge base of the University’s scholars and will enhance the practical experience of the students. Such a catalyst will certainly be considered “Imagination at work” and will “bring good things to light”.
The second article involves the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, which previously had been recognized for such endeavors in helicopters and robotic flight. This news is about a student team, called Gamera, setting a record for human-powered flight. It was impressive enough of an achievement to attract an august body of people to recognize the event—executives from the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, United Technologies Corporation, the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, as well as University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. The corporations were sufficiently impressed to contribute $50,000 to the school.
The third story was part of the flow of information that usually emanates from NBAA’s Annual Convention. Aerion Corporation announced its intention to produce a 12 seat version of the SST. Other design elements include maximum speed of around Mach 1.6, ultra laminar flow through the engines for propulsion, a pointed nose, a novel short wingspan and an innovative engine layout. While it is a bit of revival of the Concorde, this renaissance rises to the level of innovation.
Three disparate occasions, but all point to an ascending industry!
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