Boeing plans a higher order of computer design–METAVERSE
Congress already concerned about FAA relative inferior technical skills
New head of Aviation Safety will have to address FAA METAVERSE gap
Boeing and the FAA appear to face another challenge as the manufacturer brings the METAVERSE into aircraft certification
The Senate recently in a report on the FAA’s response to the Max 8 disaster and its implementation of the Aircraft Certification Safety and Accountability Act (“ACSAA”) focused on priorities for improvement, including:
- Strengthening FAA direct oversight of the ODA program;
- Taking measures to address undue pressure at Boeing ODA;
- Ensuring sufficient FAA technical and engineering capacity for safety oversight;
- Limiting delegation to industry until human factors assumptions are validated;
- Requiring that manufacturers adopt formal safety management systems with root cause analysis followed by corrective action;
- Measuring and improving FAA safety culture for frontline staff; and
- Mandating integrated aircraft safety analysis of designs.
These criticisms could be exacerbated when Boeing (see below long article) takes these technological advances in their engineering and design processes.
Designing with virtual reality and artificial intelligence—how will the FAA oversight team be able (allowed?) to enter this metaverse? At a minimum the career employees will have to receive extensive training on not just the Hololens, but where and how the calculations are made will have to be made clear to them. That education will not only take time, but will have to enter the Boeing programs to double check the underlying numbers.
The Boeing pace will also compress the time frame —within 2 years. It will be virtually impossible for the FAA certification review process to meet Boeing’s goal.
The metaverse offers better post TC/PC analyses of problems with the aircraft. As the company says, “This would allow for speedier investigations; in the event something goes south.” Again, the FAA CAS team will have to learn these functions.
Historically, most manufacturers throw a broad blanket of protection over information considered proprietary. FAA access to these and other functions will have to be a predicate to a metaverse world.
These challenges will fall on recently appointed Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Billy Nolen. The Captain has an impressive resume on the operations side, but his involvement with aircraft certification does not jump out of his experience. The office with direct jurisdiction has complained of inadequate staffing, training and support. The new AVS-1 will be called to make difficult judgments in what is probably the FAA’s #1 hotspot.
Aerospace company Boeing had a bit of a mixed year. One of its planes went down, its flying refueling drone did well, and then its Starliner was set to launch… until it didn’t. But, as with most of us, they’ve decided that next year is their year. Well, the next two years will be their year.
See, Boeing’s planning on doing something new. Something awesome. Something that’ll make people sit up and take notice. The word ‘metaverse’ is coming up, you can just feel it.
Boeing plans to build its next plane inside the metaverse, as it is. What’s more, the company intends to squeeze its changes — which reach far beyond designing in a virtual space — into as little as two years. Part of this includes increased reliance on robotics, the integration of its design and supply chain, and mechanics working on craft around the world using Microsoft’s Hololens headsets.
Designing a plane virtually could be interesting, particularly if designs can be tested immediately. This is already done. The company’s 777X airliner and T-7A RedHawk training jet were developed digitally, but they have faced technical problems. This new idea would keep every bit of design and development in a single location — right down to parts lists. This would allow for speedier investigations; in the event something goes south. It would also permit speedier construction since the supply chain can be hooked into the same system.
Boeing chief engineer, Greg Hyslop, told Reuters, “You will get speed, you will get improved quality, better communication, and better responsiveness when issues occur. When the quality from the supply base is better, when the airplane build goes together more smoothly, when you minimize re-work, the financial performance will follow from that.”
But don’t expect to see a digitally-developed aircraft turn up in the next two years. As ambitious as Boeing’s plans are, it’ll take time to convert an entire industry to an integrated system like this. And, once the transition is made, it’ll be more ‘smart city’ than ‘metaverse’.
 a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users.
 Authorizes $27,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2023 in new appropriations for the FAA to recruit and retain engineers, safety inspectors, human factors specialists, software and cybersecurity experts, and other qualified technical experts who perform duties related to the certification of aircraft, engines, and other components.
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