New York & Davenport, Iowa – Arconic officials have announced that the installation of very thick plate stretcher manufacturing technology is complete. The stretcher produces highly-differentiated aerospace and industrial plate. Arconic’s Davenport facility is currently commissioning the stretcher, and has begun qualifying material for its customers.
The project was completed on time with an investment of approximately $150 million, approximately $40 million under budget.
Located at the company’s facility in Davenport, Iowa, the stretcher improves the performance of thick aluminum and aluminum-lithium plate in aerospace and industrial applications. The stretching process reduces stress introduced into the plate as part of the manufacturing process, resulting in a part that is more easily machined and processed by customers.
In aerospace, the stretcher will enable Arconic to service the existing plate market, and allow airframe builders to make large wing ribs, fuselage frames, and bulkheads in new sizes and thickness. For example, one of the challenges composite wings face as they get larger is strength and stiffness, and the aluminum plate from this stretcher will allow aircraft manufacturers to make aluminum wing ribs to address that issue.
Material from the stretcher will also allow aerospace engineers to design aircraft in new ways, because plate of this size and scale is currently not available on the market. For example, Arconic’s stretcher material allows airframers to create single-piece parts, which eliminates the need to join multiple pieces together, resulting in better production efficiency and lower weight.
Product shipments to aerospace customers are expected to begin in Q4 2017.
Airbus was the first aerospace customer to include material from the new stretcher in the $1 billion contract announced last year. Stretcher material is also a part of an agreement Arconic has with AMI Metals to support their contract with Lockheed Martin for production of the Joint Strike Fighter.
Very Thick Plates Stretcher records
Longest plate stretched: >26yards
Widest plate stretched: >14ft
Thickest plate stretched: >12"
Heaviest plate stretched: >40,000 lb
Greatest stretcher pull force used: 35,000,000 lb (= to 550 modern locomotives)
Embraer Executive Jets’ first Phenom 100EV
Cleveland, Ohio – The first week of April was a busy one for Embraer, with the company issuing multiple announcements covering social and environmental projects, its latest executive jet, affiliated defense companies, and inflight entertainment for the E-Jets E2.
The company established the Embraer Foundation, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at its U.S. headquarters. The new foundation is a sister organization to the Brazil-based Embraer Institute (Instituto Embraer), which has led the social investment initiatives of the company since 2001.
In the State of São Paulo, the Embraer Institute operates two high schools with an entrepreneurial learning model to prepare students for higher education.
“The Embraer Foundation will consolidate our ongoing investments in social and environmental projects in the U.S.,” Gary Spulak, Embraer Aircraft Holding’s president, stated in a press release. “Our vision is to leverage our employee volunteerism and strategic partnerships to create a positive impact in our communities.”
The Embraer Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is intended to raise funds for social and environmental projects through the company’s partnership program, with the goal to inspire employees to volunteer in local initiatives with social organizations. The four pillars of the foundation are volunteering, partnerships, entrepreneurship, and education.
Mariana Luz, president of the Embraer Foundation, stated, “In Brazil, the Embraer Institute has developed educational programs created to inspire the next generation for over 15 years now. The Embraer Foundation will organize and offer a new approach for our social responsibility initiatives in the United States, where Embraer has had a strong presence for almost 40 years.”
First Phenom 100EV
The same day the Embraer Foundation was announced, company officials revealed delivery of the first Phenom 100EV on March 31 to an undisclosed U.S. customer. The new aircraft model was certified by Brazil’s ANAC and by the FAA. An evolution of the Phenom 100, which entered service in 2008, the Phenom 100EV delivers better performance with new avionics and modified engines.
The Prodigy Touch flight deck, with large HD displays, split screen capability, and a new weather radar that was introduced by the Phenom 300 light jet, is now featured on the entry-level Phenom 100EV. Pratt & Whitney Canada’s modified PW617F1-E engines offer more speed with up to 15% more thrust at hot-and-high airports, which equates to more range and a faster time to climb. The aircraft features eleven interior design collections and a private rear lavatory.
Officials from Savis and Bradar, Embraer Defense & Security affiliated companies, and Rockwell Collins announced a cooperation agreement to jointly evaluate business opportunities in defense applications.
“This Savis, Bradar, and Rockwell Collins agreement will open opportunities to integrate existing capabilities in these companies and offer better integrated solutions not only for the Brazilian Armed Forces, but for the global market,” said Jackson Schneider, Embraer Defense and Security CEO.
This initiative will also search for existing complementary capabilities in the companies’ product lines. The first opportunity identified is radar technology integration into the Rockwell Collins FireStorm portable combat fire control system. The integrated solution provides an option to offer both close air support and troops’ call for fire, being able in the future to operate with attack aircraft such as the A-29 Super Tucano.
Bradar’s expertise is development of electronic systems, sensors for defense radars, and airborne remote sensing solutions. Savis Tecnologia e Sistemas S.A. is an engineering company dedicated to systems integration.
Panasonic to supply IFE solutions for the E-Jets E2
Embraer has selected Panasonic Avionics Corp., a Lake Forest, California-based subsidiary of Panasonic Corp. of North America, to provide inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) for the E-Jets E2, the second generation of E-Jets commercial aircraft family. The new contract extended the partnership between the two companies, with Panasonic now offering Wi-Fi streaming entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity services for the E2s aircraft.
“Panasonic offered a world class solution for wireless IFE and global broadband connectivity systems aboard the E-Jets E2. The extended partnership helps us to ensure our airline customers can offer their passengers a premium experience all over the world,” said Fernando Antonio Oliveira, Embraer director for the E-Jets E2 program. The system will be installed in the E2 demo aircraft.
Panasonic’s Global Communications Services, which include broadband connectivity, live television and mobile phone services, are available on over 99.6% of all air traffic routes.
The E2 has accrued 275 firm orders, in addition to 415 options, purchase rights, and letters-of-intent, totaling 690 commitments from airline customers and leasing companies. Currently, the E-Jets are operating with about 70 customers in 50 countries.
A Norsk Titanium Boeing 787 Dreamliner structural component showing the deposited, near-net-shape on top and the appearance after machining, below.
Cleveland, Ohio – Oslo, Norway-based additive manufacturer Norsk Titanium AS is using its proprietary, wire-based Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) process to produce 3D-printed, FAA-approved structural titanium components for Boeing’s 757 Dreamliner. Norsk Titanium, with its RPD additive manufacturing (AM) process, is the first supplier for Boeing’s high-deposition-rate material specification.
According to a Norsk Titanium announcement, Boeing designed the components and collaborated closely with the company throughout the development process. To certify the initial structural components on the Dreamliner, Boeing and Norsk Titanium undertook a rigorous testing program. FAA certification was completed in February 2017.
At the 2016 Farnborough Air Show, Norsk officials announced the company had received an order for titanium engineering test articles from Boeing, to be produced by Norsk’s RPD process. The goal for the manufacture, test, and analysis of the Ti-6Al-4V additively manufactured preforms was to demonstrate part-to-part repeatability and the operations processes necessary to enter long-term production of structural components for fleet aircraft. An image of similar preforms was shown in Aerospace Manufacturing and Design’s air show coverage in Aug/Sept 2016.
Norsk Titanium President & CEO Warren M. Boley, Jr. says, “We are proud to take this historical step with a great aerospace innovator like Boeing. The Norsk Titanium team will continue to expand the portfolio of components supplied to Boeing meeting stringent certification requirements. It is an honor to earn FAA approval for these structural parts.”
John Byrne, vice president, Airplane Materials and Structures, Supplier Management, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, adds, “We are always looking at the latest technologies to drive cost reduction, performance, and value to our customers, and Norsk Titanium’s RPD capability fits the bill in a new and creative way.”
A barrier to wider use of additive-manufactured parts for aircraft structural parts has been getting them FAA-certified, so reaching this benchmark demonstrates a pathway for manufacturers to certify AM parts.
The Dreamliner RPD components will be on display at the International Paris Airshow, Le Bourget, June 19-25, 2017 at Norsk Titanium’s booth in Hall 1, Space H299, along with a full-scale mock-up of the company’s patented MERKE IV Rapid Plasma Deposition machine that produced the structural parts.
Join Mike DiFranco, Group Publisher of Aerospace Manufacturing and Design, as he moderates a panel discussion on the aerospace supply chain at the Taipei International Machine Tool Show (TIMTOS) 2017. Participants include Shie-Chun Du, Senior Vice President, Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC) and Bill Bihlman, President, Aerolytics LLC.