Burt Rutan, founder of California’s Scaled Composites, was the very first Design News Engineer of the Year in 1988 and one of the most admired engineers in America. His engineering team has designed, tested, and flown a whole series of leading edge aircraft, ranging from the Voyager – the first plane to fly around the world without refueling – to SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded manned aircraft to fly into space. In this interview with Contributing Editor Larry Maloney, Rutan tells what is needed to spur innovation in aerospace.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
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.