Boeing pilots have flown the 787-9 Dreamliner to Auckland, home of launch customer Air New Zealand, marking the 787-9's international debut and longest flight since the robust test program began.
The second of three 787-9s dedicated to the flight-test program, ZB002, flew direct from Seattle's Boeing Field to Auckland International Airport, departing January 3 at 9:55 a.m. local time and landing 13 hours, 49 minutes later. The airplane is scheduled to continue on to Alice Springs, Australia, for testing in hot weather.
The 787-9 will complement and extend the efficient 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20ft (6m) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 300nm (555km) with similar environmental performance – 20% less fuel use and 20% fewer emissions than similarly sized aircraft. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air, and a smoother ride.
Boeing is on track to deliver the 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. Twenty-six customers from around the world have ordered 402 787-9s, accounting for 39% of all 787 orders.
HM Dunn Company Inc. and Apex Engineering Int'l LLC (AEI), portfolio companies of Gridiron Capital LLC, are merging the two companies to form HM Dunn AeroSystems Inc., a vertically integrated Super Tier 2 aerospace manufacturer. HM Dunn's CEO, Phil Milazzo, will serve as the CEO of the combined entity, and AEI's former CEO, Jeff Landreth, will lead the business strategy and proposal development for the new company. HM Dunn AeroSystems is headquartered near Dallas, Texas.
The combination of these two organizations establishes the capability of HM Dunn AeroSystems as a Super Tier 2 supplier to commercial, military, and general aviation customers. The combination of the two businesses, each with deep industry heritage, provides engineering design support, tool fabrication, complex machining, sheet metal fabrication, complex composite manufacturing, in-house processing, and complete assembly capabilities to the aerospace industry. HM Dunn AeroSystems acts as a true partner for its OEM and Tier 1 customers by providing an efficient, strong, and seamless value stream for the customer. The combined company will serve an international base of customers on high-growth commercial, business jet, and military platforms.
Mr. Milazzo, CEO of HM Dunn AeroSystems, stated: "The combination of AEI with HM Dunn creates a tremendous opportunity for us to achieve our customers' needs in a unique way. No longer will our customers need to go to multiple providers for the engineering, design, manufacturing, processing, and assembly of key components in commercial, business jet, and military markets. We are that one-stop solution."
Mr. Eugene Conese, Managing Partner of Gridiron Capital, commented:
"With aircraft build rates continuing to accelerate, resulting in increased pressure on the aerospace supply chain, we became convinced the combination of our two fine portfolio companies would be the best way to serve our customers and create a compelling value proposition for them."
HM Dunn operates in Wichita, Kan., St. Louis, Mo., and Dallas, Texas. AEI has operations in Wichita, Kan. and Ada, Okla. Gridiron Capital LLC is a private equity firm headquartered in New Canaan, Conn.
Source: HM Dunn
Just weeks after its designation as one of six federally-approved test sites for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will conduct several test flights over South Texas ranchland to continue research and training on the RS-16 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test site designation, announced Dec. 30, is expected to bring other UAS researchers to the University’s Lone Star UAS Center to expand research on new applications and safe integration of unmanned aerial technology into the national airspace.
A&M-Corpus Christi has an established UAS program, including extensive airspace authorized by the FAA for UAS operations. The University also has established a UAS Command and Control Center at the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center that will manage the 11 Texas test ranges. The University’s UAV, an RS-16, has participated in several missions since it arrived on campus in 2011.
While the test site designation does not come with federal funding, recent studies show an anticipated economic impact of $8 billion statewide, and $260 million in South Texas over the next 10 years; creating about 1,200 jobs.
During these missions, the drone will launch from a mobile operations center, fly east out of sight of ground observers, and will be monitored by a manned aircraft as it flies over Padre Island and the Gulf of Mexico. Regulations require the drone remain under visual contact at all times.
Researchers will also continue training with the onboard multi-spectral camera that acquires video, ultraviolet and thermal images that can be used for mapping sea grass, monitoring pipeline routes, detecting wildfires hotspots or oil spills in the ocean, and counting livestock.
During the missions, the Command and Control Center back in Corpus Christi will continue development of the technology to track, monitor, and receive streaming video from the UAV and the mobile operations center at the launch site.
The successful FAA test site bid was a team effort among A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), Camber Corporation, the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute, the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) in San Antonio, and other research institutions and private-sector companies.
About the UAV: RS-16
• Wingspan: 12ft 11"
• Max take-off weight: 85 lb
• Max speed: 65kts
• Max payload weight: 25 lb
• Max endurance: 12-16 hours
Source: Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
M+P Labs, a materials testing and analysis company, is set for a new identity when it changes its name to Lucideon from Feb. 1, 2014.
The company, with locations in Schenectady, N.Y., and Greenville, S.C., is changing its name along with other companies in the Ceram group, a move which is designed to bring the businesses together under one banner.
The change will also help grow the business, which offers materials development, testing, and analysis, resource efficiency, and assurance to clients around the globe.
Lucideon is a name that has been chosen carefully. It is made up of two words with "Lucid," as in making things clear and intelligible, and "Eon" meaning a period of time.
The group, which includes UK-based materials technology company, Ceram, and international sustainability, verification, and certification specialist Complete Integrated Certification Services Ltd. (CICS), will be given a fresh look as a result of the change of identity, with a new logo, signage, and website.
Frank Anderson, President of M+P Labs, sees significant benefit in the new identity: "The name change will help bring all of our operations together under one identity and give us a strong base from which to move forward.
"As the group has acquired new interests, the range of different company names has become confusing for our clients.
"So we have come up with a single identity that will incorporate all of our businesses and which will reflect what we stand for as an organization – independence, accuracy, creativity, and responsiveness.
"The change to Lucideon will also help us offer customers an even wider range of services.
"We hope they will support the new name and that Lucideon will become as familiar to them as M+P Labs is now."
Anderson is confident the new brand identity won't affect the service provided by the company, and goes on to say: "Only the name is changing – customers will still be able to talk to the same people at the same locations and receive the same outstanding customer service they've come to expect.
"We'll be using a fresh logo and we're creating a new corporate website at http://www.lucideon.com, which will act as a portal to help customers access and learn more about the services they require."
M+P Labs works with multinational companies around the world.
Source: M+P Labs
BAE Systems engineers have created and flown a 3D printed metal part for the first time on-board a Tornado fighter jet, paving the way for using 3D printed parts in other military kit.
The 3D metal camera bracket was successfully flown from the company’s airfield at Warton, Lancashire, UK.
While the first 3D printed metal part took to the skies at Warton, BAE Systems also has engineers designing and producing 3D printed functional components at RAF Marham, Norfolk, UK, to support the aircraft when it is being maintained on the ground. The parts are made from a plastic material and include protective covers for Tornado cockpit radios, support struts on the air intake door, and protective guards for power take-off shafts. Use of these parts will cut the cost of repairs, maintenance, and service to the Royal Air Force by more than £1.2 million ($1.98 million) over the next 4 years, according to BAE Systems estimates.
With some of the parts costing less than £100 ($165) per piece to manufacture, 3D printing has already resulted in savings of more than £300,000 ($494,160) and will offer further potential cost savings of more than £1.2 million ($1.98 million) between now and 2017.
Mike Murray, head of airframe integration for BAE Systems at Warton said: “You are suddenly not fixed in terms of where you have to manufacture these things. You can manufacture the products and whatever base you want, providing you can get a machine there, which means you can also start to support other platforms such as ships and aircraft carriers.
“And if it’s feasible to get machines out on the front line, it also gives improved capability where we wouldn’t traditionally have any manufacturing support.”
A film of of BAE system's 3D printing machine can be viewed on YouTube here.
Source: BAE Systems