A few years ago, it was even odds on the wildly different bets Boeing and Airbus were making with their next generation planes. Airbus would go with the ungainly and unimaginably huge A380 while Boeing wagered on the more modest 787 Dreamliner. Even though the A380 has flown successfully and the first 787 has not made it out of the hanger door yet, it's safe to say the former has a wide lead in this big stakes race and has all but won round one. I say round one because a race like this take decades to unfold.
Last week, Boeing announced orders had passed the 500 mark to 514 with to Japan Airlines Corp. signing up for five 787-8s. Several other planes were ordered by unidentified customers, Boeing said in the April 3 announcement. At its quarterly update reviewing the 787's progress on March 19, orders stood at just below 500, according to Mike Bair, Boeing vice president and general manager. The blog post I did on the quarterly review - the first for new plane in Boeing's history - has set records for Design at Large Engineering with 3,000 page views last time I checked a week ago. The entire Design News staff is working with Boeing to review the myriad innovations and systems that make up the 787, which is slated to roll out on 7/8/07 (get it?) and fly for the first time in August.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.