notarboca, I'd be very surprised if Airbus *didn't* do the type of tests you mention. The 15 slides shown in my previous story on the 350, "Slideshow: Anatomy of a Composite-Heavy Jetliner" http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=264009 are a mere smattering of all the various press releases and announcements made on the many, many steps during this entire process, and many of those represent a ton of different tests. Commercial aircraft must go through a very rigorous testing process, much more extensive than that of military aircraft. We've discussed this, regarding composites, here: http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=235863 and here: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=235214 Airbus seems to have learned from Boeing's mistakes.
Ann, TJ-- I, too, would like to see composite fatigue results. Fatigue kills airframe components! The only way the US Air Force has been able to keep B-52s airworthy is to address this, since the wing flexes about 6 feet with every takeoff and landing cycle. Quite a maintenence effort.
I doubt Airbus has taken a horizontal stablizer into a test bed and twisted/jerked it six ways from Sunday to see fatigue results. Most probably rely on computer modelling, but I hope not.
@Murray: Yes sounds like that to me too. You need to provide the fullest support towards industries like aviation since they are the things which carries the industry forward if its right on track with technology.
Yes, I saw that poll. That's the power of bad press. The fact that this is old tech, not new tech, at fault makes me nervous, because that indicates a systemic problem, like one of QA/maintenance. If anything, you'd think those oversight-type systems would be tightened on the 787 by now, not loosened.
Thanks, Rob. So now it's a brake indicator problem--not exactly new technology. At least the most recent problems have been mechanical, and not related to new technologies. OTOH, one wonders why they happened at all.
Two new technologies from Stratasys, created in partnership with Boeing, Ford, and Siemens, will bring accurate, repeatable manufacturing of very large thermoplastic end products, and much bigger composite parts, onto the factory floor for industries including automotive and aerospace.
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