Paris Air Show
Aviation Safety Developments Announced
The Paris Air Show is the world’s #1 convocation of military and civilian aircraft. The major manufacturers stage this event to announce major sales, while in most instances the deals were agreed to well before the trip to Le Bourget. It is, however, a place where new developments are first announced. Here are three such revelations, selected because they involve significant safety elements.
Designing a modern aircraft is now a multivariable exercise in which weight and strength are to be jointly optimized; in general, strong materials, desirable, usually add to the gross weight of the vehicle on the drawing boards. A heavy structure can withstand the aerodynamic forces which flight incurs, but tends to detract from payload and range performance of this engineering project.
Daher, a French manufacturer of integrated industrial aerospace systems, announces its first-ever thermoplastic composite wing rib. Daher states that its new wing rib will offer aircraft manufacturers an innovative lightweight solution that is “alternative, or complementary, to metallic and more traditional thermoset composite parts.” Daher’s thermoplastic composite rib is 35 percent lighter than metal equivalents for the same cost.
The company explained that parts made from its thermoplastic composites are “more resilient and provide recycling potential not possible with other materials.” Further this new material permits faster production times because its thermoplastics can be treated by heat and pressure in very short cycles. The curing process also is reversible, meaning that thermoplastic parts can be shaped for one purpose then reheated and reshaped for another. This unlocks possibilities in terms of welding that reduces the number of fasteners required in the build-up of airframe components, as well as for repairs.
Probably the world’s OEMs are already planning to use Daher’s rib in their newest aircraft designs!
The disappearance of MH 370 exposed the susceptibility to losing an aircraft beyond the range of radar and demonstrated of the existing on board connectivity to get an accurate position of an airliner. In response to that tragedy a number of solutions were proposed and one concerned expressed was that by requiring sending of positional and other parameters constantly would create a massive, impractical (?) data center.
Rockwell Collins has introduced a new onboard aircraft tracking system which will limit its transmissions. The equipment monitors aircraft information with parameters to initiate sending a stream of aircraft performance data. The Onboard Aircraft Tracking solution, once it monitors a specific set of system measurements which should correlate with flight problems.
When OAT reads indicators of low altitude, low speed, excessive pitch, engine failure and others, it automatically begins to emit aircraft position information at an increased rate. The onboard aircraft tracking function is implemented as an update to the Airline Operational Control (AOC) avionics software and is available for both forward fit and retrofit.
OAT should meet IATA’s Aircraft Tracking Task Force and of ICAO’s Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System standards.
That sounds like a viable solution which could fill in an important gap in global flight coverage without overloading the residual data center.
UTC Aerospace Systems has designed an advanced Aircraft Data Management system. The ADM will advise pilots how to save time and fuel. the Tablet Interface Module (TIM) and Aircraft Interface Device (AID), both of which have been installed on the Alaska planes.
The ADM Alaska Airlines installation hosts NASA’s Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR) software which will enable flight crews to make trajectory change request decisions en route using near real-time weather information, special use airspace status and traffic conditions.
Some of the software that has been introduced into the cockpit have reduced the pilots’ manipulation of the controls and have been cited as a reason for the diminution of their skills. This NASA/ Rockwell system will supplement their knowledge and improve the basis of their decisions!!!
Le Bourget was the 1927 site of the first nonstop Trans-Atlantic passenger flight. The European aerospace giant is reassessing the experience of travelers in their planes of the future. Simultaneous with the Paris Air Show, Airbus posted a story about their VERY innovative rethinking of what the “back of the plane” might look like:
To whet your curiosity, here are a few of the images from that study:
The videos are even more interesting and exciting!!! Way beyond even the Continental Airlines DC-10 pub/piano bar:
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