General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) has demonstrated aircraft-carrier deck handling – including taxi capability, transition to launch, and recovery – using a Predator C Avenger jet aircraft as
MQ-25 deck operations will use specially designed director wands the same size, shape, and weight as those used now. Directors control aircraft taxi operations on deck, including lowering/raising the launch bar, spreading/folding the wings, and raising the arresting hook. Gesture-recognition algorithms in the wands recognize standard Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures (NATOPS) flight deck director hand gestures, translating and sending those commands to the MQ-25 air vehicle.
The MQ-25 signals to the controller and other flight deck personnel with small LEDs that change colors or flash to show they have received a command and indicate the aircraft’s operating state. An on-deck safety observer can instantly stop the aircraft any time an unsafe situation is identified. www.ga-asi.com
AeroVironment Puma-Switchblade demonstrates counter swarm ability
AeroVironment Inc.’s RQ-20B Puma Block 2 long-endurance small unmanned aerial system (UAS) identified a series of high-speed unmanned target boats and transmitted target coordinates to a Switchblade loitering missile system. The missile automatically flew to the fast-moving target, engaging it with an inert payload. The test was conducted from a U.S. Navy coastal riverine craft.
The sensor-to-shooter (S2S) combination, now a prototype, is planned for product release in Fall 2018. Currently fielded Switchblade systems can be upgraded with the S2S capability. www.avinc.com
NASA tests unmanned traffic management program in Nevada
Public partners flew multiple unmanned aerial systems (UAS) during week-long tests at the Reno-Stead Airport to evaluate airspace management technologies that will enable the safe integration of UAS into the National Airspace System. Involved in the tests were the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), which manages the Nevada UAS Test Sites, and NASA’s Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) program.
NASA provided a Flight Information Management System (FIMS) that will be a prototype for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Testing included UAS ground control locally managing operations, communication, navigation, surveillance, human factors, data exchange, and network solutions.
A team from the Reno Fire Department simulated an incident with a victim experiencing severe blood loss who needed an immediate transfusion. A multi-rotor UAS from Drone America equipped with a blood packet landed so that firefighters could retrieve it.
The partners demonstrated drone flight capability, UAS traffic mapping, and sensor and radar technology connected through a NASA UAS Service Supplier (USS) network to NASA Ames Research Center.www.droneamerica.com; www.nias-uas.com; https://utm.arc.nasa.gov/index.shtml
More than half of
commercial drone flights will be conducted autonomously by 2022
Frost & Sullivan expects that by 2022 more than 50% of commercial unmanned aerial system (UAS) drone flights will be conducted autonomously, operating much like warehouse robots operate today. Drones will be used as a tool to make operations more efficient while drone maintenance and data security will become the prominent areas for revenue stream development. Demand for commercial drones in North America will generate the most revenues with Asia-Pacific a close second.
“The UAS market is becoming an ecosystem focused on information and value-added services where
Blades also foresees decreasing demand for remote pilots to operate drones on site, and that by 2022, the industry will resemble the cell phone sector with a few hardware providers and a slew of open-source software and sensor providers catering to specific applications. ww2.frost.com
Hurco celebrates 50th anniversary
Indianapolis, Indiana-based machine tool manufacturer Hurco celebrated its 50th anniversary with an open house featuring machine demos, a 5-axis machining seminar, live radio broadcast, National Hot Rod Association drag racers John Force and Robert Hight, and IndyCar racer owner and driver Ed Carpenter. Hurco President Greg Volovic welcomed Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett to the ceremonial cake cutting.
Founded by Gerald Roch and the late Edward Humston in 1968, Hurco – “Hu” for Humston, “R” for Roch, and “Co” for
Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita State University collaborate
Spirit AeroSystems and Wichita State University (WSU) will partner through the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) and the WSU Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology (WSU Tech) to focus on joint strategic research projects, applied learning opportunities for WSU students, and improved aerospace workforce training.
“Strengthening our collaboration with WSU helps Spirit accelerate our advanced research initiatives and improve training opportunities for our workforce,” says Spirit President and CEO Tom Gentile.
Spirit plans to lease space in the Partnership Building 2 on WSU’s Innovation Campus in Wichita to facilitate enhanced cooperation with the university on projects such as advanced composites R&D, rapid prototyping, product development and testing, and additive manufacturing and design.
“This type of university/industry collaboration is exactly the kind needed to strengthen the regional economy and prepare students for careers in the aerospace and manufacturing industries,” says WSU President John Bardo.
Spirit’s previously-announced increased production rates on many of its programs, along with the launch of growth initiatives in fabrication and defense, are driving needs for a higher-skilled workforce equipped for advanced manufacturing. Revamping the workforce training model with WSU, together with other aerospace manufacturers, will improve the pipeline of qualified aviation workers.www.niar.wichita.edu; www.spiritaero.com; www.wichita.edu
Darren Roos appointed IFS CEO
Global enterprise applications company IFS has hired Darren Roos as CEO, replacing Alastair Sorbie, who is retiring after 12 years.
Roos, an enterprise software innovator, has a track-record for establishing and scaling global software businesses. Most recently, Roos was president of cloud ERP business at SAP and, before that, grew international operations at Software AG. www.ifsworld.com
sponsors, participates in Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing’s Machining Research Day
Sandvik Coromant was a sponsor at the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) Machining Research Day in Prince George County, Virginia. The event drew industry experts from manufacturing, academia, and government to discuss machining technologies and challenges.
According to William Durow, manager of Sandvik Coromant’s global engineering project office, “New technologies are often developed in the academic world, but they struggle with finding an avenue for new concepts. Connecting academia with manufacturing allows us to identify opportunities to bring that technology into the manufacturing world.”
Industry experts also included representatives from GF Machining Solutions and Kyocera as well as academics from UNC Charlotte, Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC), and the Air Force Research Library. Topics included education and the future workforce, and how to determine the biggest opportunities for process optimization in machining, handling new materials with low machinability, the role that process modeling will continue to play, and how hybrid machining fits into the future. www.ccam-va.com; www.sandvik.coromant.com
Marposs acquires aviation tooling supplier BPMA
Global measurement and process monitoring technologies company Marposs has acquired BPMA, based in Le Pin, France, a specialist in the design and manufacture of jet engine tooling and aerospace mechanical equipment.
Established in 1966, the BPMA product line extends Marposs offerings for new aircraft engine programs as well as maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of legacy engines.
Marposs provides the design and manufacture of tooling, fixtures, machine monitoring systems, and automatic inspection machines. Its systems are used for assembly, final inspection, and MRO of modern aircraft engines. http://bpma.fr; www.marposs.com
Boeing Global Services and the Canadian government have agreed to extend a performance-based logistics contract to support the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of CH-147F Chinook helicopters. The 5-year, $313 million follow-on contract covers full system logistics, engineering support, supply chain, data analytics, and training services.
Through this contract, Boeing will continue to work with companies across Canada in support of the country’s Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy, which supports long-term opportunities for the Canadian aerospace industry and workforce. Currently, Boeing works with nearly 560 Canadian suppliers, and the company employs approximately 2,000 skilled workers throughout the country. www.boeing.com
GE gets American Airlines’ Dreamliner MRO agreement
American Airlines has a TrueChoice overhaul agreement with GE for up to 20 years of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) for the GEnx-1B engines ordered to power its 47 newly ordered Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
TrueChoice overhaul provides time and material overhauls with tailored work-scopes specific to shop visit objectives, economic priorities, and ownership horizon for one engine or a fleet. www.geaviation.com
MRO facility adds LEAP capability
Sichuan Services Aero Engine Maintenance Co. (SSAMC), the 60/40 joint venture between the Chinese national flag carrier Air China and CFM International, has inaugurated a 43,880m2 facility, expanding its maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) capability for CFM56 and LEAP engines to 300 engines per year.
Located in the Chengdu Free Trade Zone, the largest CFM engine maintenance facility in Asia benefits from standards in equipment and layout.
Olivier Andriès, CEO of CFM parent company Safran Aircraft Engines, says, “The quality of the work and turnaround times this facility has achieved prepares it well for future LEAP MRO capability as this engine continues the fastest fleet ramp-up in aviation history.”
Since it was established in 2010, SSAMC has serviced more than 1,000 CFM56-3, CFM56-5B, and CFM56-7 engines for more than 40 customers throughout Asia. SSAMC has been certified by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, and the European Aviation Safety Agency.
Fiberglass-reinforced utility knife
The XH-AL 25mm fiberglass-reinforced auto-lock utility knife’s cushioned rubber grip extends the full length of the chemical-resistant handle and stainless-steel blade channel. The knife cuts gaskets, flexible conduit, belt synthetics, rope, leather, laminates, plastics, fiberglass, rubber, and textiles. Each 25mm black blade contains seven cutting edges – each snaps off the blade for a fresh cutting edge. www.olfa.com
Diehl Aerosystems launches Charleston support service
Diehl Aerosystems has launched On-Site-Support Service (OSS) in Charleston, South Carolina, adjacent to Boeing’s 787-10 Dreamliner final assembly line. In a newly refurbished facility run by service supplier Vartan, the Diehl OSS includes a local commercial representative and support staff to deliver just-in-time support to Boeing. The facility can expand to support warehousing and kitting or higher capacity.
Diehl will provide cabin interior lighting, cabin lining packages, and
The Tsugami B038T combines the precision, accuracy, and speed of a high-performance Swiss-type lathe with the flexibility and additional rotary tool capability of a turning center with a turret. Up to 13 tools on the tool posts, plus 32 stations on the turret combine to machine complex parts in a single setup.
The B038T turning center performs seven different types of simultaneous machining operations – such as heavy milling, turning, drilling, tapping, hobbing, and long thread whirling – involving the front, back, and cross spindles.
Tsugami/Rem Sales LLC
Position-flexible swing clamps
Floating Clamps – position-flexible swing clamps with 110° rotation – clamp and support workpieces. Suitable for clamping forgings, ribbed or flanged castings, and other larger parts, they can be used in conjunction with primary locators and clamps to provide additional support points and reduce machining vibration of thin, light workpieces such as sheet metal, carbon fiber, and aluminum. The clamps adjust to workpieces with light spring force before locking, to prevent deformation.
Each clamp supports up to a 1,800 lb
Carr Lane Mfg. Co.
Twin-column materials testers
Lloyd Instruments’ LD series of twin column materials testers includes five models with capacities ranging from 5kN to 100kN for routine, automated, and complex multi-stage quality control testing of tensile strength, compression, ductility, and other material properties.
LD series machines feature a 452mm (17.8") working area, crosshead travel up to 1,070mm (42") extendable to 1,669mm (65.7"), and wide speed range. They can be mounted above a floor-standing compression cage for
An advanced electrical design with AC drive and preloaded ball screws ensure better speed and displacement accuracy. A high-stiffness frame prevents frame deflection and crosshead movement, while pancake load cells improve accuracy at the cross axis and increase work area.
The supplied NexygenPlus analysis software includes a library of pre-programmed test setups to accommodate multiple applications. Built-in test wizards guide users through advanced customized test setups. Test results can be automatically exported directly into Microsoft Word or Excel using user-defined corporate templates or pre-defined analysis and reporting templates.
Ametek Lloyd Instruments, a brand of Ametek Sensors, Test & Calibration www.ametektest.com