Production delays for the Boeing Dreamliner 787 will force Boeing to conduct flight tests simultaneously for the 787 and the also-under-development 747-8, a widebody commercial airliner. The 747-8 will use the same engine and cockpit technology as the 787. The 747-8 is also delayed, but not to the same extent of the 787, which relies heavily on carbon composites for much of it structure.
There won’t be room to conduct tests for both aircraft at Boeing’s field locations in the Puget Sound. “But we’ve worked out a good plan with the Boeing Test and Evaluation team to make the most efficient use of our resources, while accommodating the test, certification and delivery schedules for both the 747-8 Freighter and the 787 Dreamliner,” says Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeign Commercial Airplanes.
Testing for the Dreamliner will be based at Boeing Field while testing for three planes in the 747-8 program will take place at an airfield in central Washington and other remote locations. Three test 747-8 planes are in final assembly, nearing completion.
“We’ve done simultaneous flight test programs before, and we don’t see it impacting schedules,” says Tinseth. The last time major Boeing flight test programs overlapped (the 757 and 76) was in 1982.
A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Capping a 30-year quest, GE Aviation has broken ground on the first high-volume factory for producing commercial jet engine components from ceramic matrix composites. The plant will produce high-pressure turbine shrouds for the LEAP Turbofan engine.
Seismic shifts in 3D printing materials include an optimization method that reduces the material needed to print an object by 85 percent, research designed to create new, stronger materials, and a new ASTM standard for their mechanical properties.
A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.