A month ago Scott Fancher, who heads Boeing’s Dreamliner program, said the changes required to fix a wing design flaw seemed like no big deal. In a conference call with analysts on June 23, Fancher commented: “The area in question is a series of relatively small areas in the side-of-body join and the various modification options that we are looking at are really quite simple. A few handful of parts at each one of the locations that can be installed on aircraft that are already assembled or aircraft that are currently in production within the production system. So (it’s) a modification that can readily be installed.” Oh, was he wrong.
A new report in the Seattle Times says the required fix is major, cannot be made easily on existing test aircraft and will further postpone the Dreamliner take-off-which is already two years delayed.
The problem is that the original design put too much stress on composite sections of the wing, causing them to delaminate. In one potential solution under study, a U-shaped cut-out will be created in each upper wing-skin stringer. The reshaped stringer ends will then be refastened to a titanium fitting that connects the wing stringers to stringers on the fuselage side of the join.
Stringers are the composite rods that stiffen the inside of the wing or body skin. Boeing executives told Wall Street yesterday that a solution has been identified and will be disclosed at a later date.
Still hanging in the balance is the Design News report that the Dreamliner design is 8 percent overweight-and that’s before the new titanium fasteners are added to improve wing-to-body strength.
Many of the new adhesives we're featuring in this slideshow are for use in automotive and other transportation applications. The rest of these new products are for a wide variety of applications including aviation, aerospace, electrical motors, electronics, industrial, and semiconductors.
A Columbia University team working on molecular-scale nano-robots with moving parts has run into wear-and-tear issues. They've become the first team to observe in detail and quantify this process, and are devising coping strategies by observing how living cells prevent aging.
Many of the new materials on display at MD&M West were developed to be strong, tough replacements for metal parts in different kinds of medical equipment: IV poles, connectors for medical devices, medical device trays, and torque-applying instruments for orthopedic surgery. Others are made for close contact with patients.
New sensor technology integrates sensors, traces, and electronics into a smart fabric for wearables that measures more dimensions -- force, location, size, twist, bend, stretch, and motion -- and displays data in 3D maps.
As we saw on the show floor this week at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif., 3D printing is contributing to distributed manufacturing and being reinvented by engineers for their own needs. Meanwhile, new fasteners are appearing for wearable consumer and medical devices and Baxter Robot has another software upgrade.
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.