San Antonio, Texas – Boeing recently completed maintenance on a U.S. Air Force E-4B advanced airborne command post earlier than planned, enabling the Air Force to quickly return the vital aircraft to operational service.
It was the first E-4B serviced at Boeing’s San Antonio site. Boeing also performs maintenance on Air Force C-17 Globemaster III airlifters, KC-135 aerial refueling tankers, and on commercial aircraft at that site.
“The E-4B fleet is an essential element of our nation’s defense. Boeing’s ability to return this aircraft to service, ahead of schedule, benefits the men and women who serve on them as well as the citizens they protect,” said Joseph Stupic, Chief, E-4B Section, U.S. Air Force.
Based on the Boeing 747-200 commercial airplane, the E-4B’s primary role during a conflict is as an airborne command post under the direction of the president, secretary of defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Boeing built the E-4 fleet and, with the Air Force, has supported the aircraft since the program’s launch in 1974. The company is on contract to maintain the readiness of the aircraft’s systems, bringing each aircraft in for service every four years.
Source: Boeing Defense, Space & Security
Washington – NASA is seeking proposals from universities for early stage technology development that will support the agency's long-term plans for human exploration of Mars and scientific study of our solar system and beyond.
The Early Stage Innovations NASA Research Announcement calls for innovative space technology proposals that could benefit NASA's space program, other government agencies, and the greater aerospace community.
"We are looking for innovative ideas where top researchers from U.S. universities can help solve the toughest space technology challenges as we look to begin our journey to pioneer our solar system," said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The areas of focus we selected align with our Space Technology Roadmaps, which reflect the National Research Council's review of these roadmaps."
Only accredited U.S. universities may submit proposals under this solicitation. Notices of intent to submit proposals to the Early Stage Innovations Appendix of NASA's Research Announcement, "Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration and Infusion 2015," are due June 12. The deadline for submitting final proposals is July 10.
The proposals may cover transformative space technologies in different fields, including planetary exploration capabilities, such as payload technologies for assistive free-flyers and robotic mobility technologies for the surfaces of icy moons. They may also cover material science, such as discrete cellular materials assembly, repair and reconfiguration, and computationally guided structural nanomaterials design.
Other topics could include optical communication for space using integrated photonics, atmospheric entry modeling development using data from the first flight test of NASA’s Orion spacecraft in December 2014, and high voltage power management and distribution electronics for space applications.
The agency expects to make approximately 12 awards this fall, with total award amounts of as much as to $500,000. Research and development efforts will take place over two to three years.
Toulouse, France – A wing-skin that harvests natural vibrations to power in-flight systems, drones that lead birds to a safe haven birdport, and a games console-inspired infra-red system that detects potential obstacles when taxiing, are among the ideas from university students shortlisted by Airbus in its Fly Your Ideas contest, with the five finalists now vying for the 30,000 euros jackpot.
These pioneering ideas have already seen competition from more than 500 entries in Airbus’ biennial global student challenge. Airbus created Fly Your Ideas, in partnership with UNESCO, to inspire the next generation of innovators by giving them the chance to experience the exciting opportunities that the aviation industry has to offer.
Diversity is a key driver of innovation and performance and this year’s finalists represent the most diverse line-up in the competition’s history, comprising eight nationalities from nine universities, with a mix of engineering and non-engineering backgrounds and a higher percentage of female students than ever before.
Responding to key issues in aviation, the ideas had to cover one of six challenges identified by Airbus to provide sustainable future solutions where growth, efficiency, and people will be at the heart of a thriving aviation industry.
The five finalist teams – from Brazil, China, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom – now travel to Hamburg, Germany, to make their case for the top prize to Airbus and industry experts on May 27, 2015; the runners-up will share 15,000 euros.
In contention are:
‘Good vibrations’ energy-harvesting skin – Team ‘MULTIFUN’, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
MULTIFUN is all about good vibrations. The team’s idea sees plane wings dressed in a composite skin that harvests energy from natural vibrations or flex in the wings. Piezoelectric fibers gather electrical charges from even the smallest movements during flight, storing the energy generated in battery panels integrated in the fuselage and using it to power auxiliary in-flight systems, such as lighting and entertainment systems. This reduces the energy footprint of aircraft during flight and could even replace the entire power source for ground operations.
Drone-guided ‘birdport’ – Team ‘BIRDPORT’, The University of Tokyo, Japan
BIRDPORT proposes deploying a flock of drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to guide birds from airports to a comfortable habitat nearby. The drones use tactics of separation, alignment, and cohesion to manipulate flocks and divert them to Birdport, where birdsong and decoys are used to create a natural and safe habitat for birds in the area. The idea is designed to reduce bird strikes to aircraft significantly and to enhance aircraft availability.
Game console-inspired infra-red guidance system – Team AFT-BURNER-REVERSER, Northwestern Polytechnical University, China
AFT-BURNER-REVERSER has applied motion-sensing technology from a games console to an aircraft guidance system for use when taxiing. The model uses infra-red and visual information to warn the pilot and ground crew of high-risk obstacles. This is designed to reduce the turnaround time of aircraft between flights and the cost of damage, saving airlines millions per year.
Faster trolley trash – Team RETROLLEY, University of São Paulo, Brazil
RETROLLEY has tackled the issue of reducing waste in-flight and cutting down the time taken to collect and sort rubbish post-flight, speeding up airline operations particularly on short-haul carriers. The team’s customized trolley is designed to intelligently sort rubbish and recycling by minimizing the volume of foils, paper, and plastic and collecting residual fluid. In doing so, the weight of galley equipment can be reduced by up to 30kg reducing fuel consumption and offering more space in-flight for refreshments.
Wireless and greener ground operations – Team BOLLEBOOS, City University London, UK
BOLLEBOOS has put forward its pioneering WEGO system that picks up energy during taxiing. Transmitter sections on the ground, located just underneath the aircraft in the apron, transfer electrical power inductively to a receiver placed between the nose-wheels. This provides a sustainable energy source to power ground operations, reducing carbon emissions by half.
Charles Champion, Airbus executive vice president engineering, says: “I congratulate the five teams for reaching the final of our Fly Your Ideas challenge. The competition as always has been incredibly tough and they can all be very proud to have got this far. What their ideas show us is that the next generation can bring fresh thinking to our industry and help shape the future of flight. That’s what Airbus Fly Your Ideas is all about.”
Flavia Schlegel, assistant director-general of the natural sciences sector, UNESCO, says: “We are proud to partner with Airbus on Fly Your Ideas. With diversity key to driving innovation, the competition gives students, both male and female, from all different backgrounds and based all over the world, the opportunity to offer their individual expertise and to experience the future of the aviation industry. We wish all the finalists good luck in the final round of the competition.”
The winning team will be announced at a ceremony in Hamburg on May 27, 2015.
Fly Your Ideas is part of The Future by Airbus, the aircraft manufacturer’s vision of sustainable air travel in 2050.
Airbus Fly Your Ideas is a biennial global competition, organized in partnership with UNESCO, which challenges students to innovate for the future of aviation. Taking part is a unique opportunity for students to put their classroom learning and research to the test, by working with a team of Airbus professionals on the real-world challenges facing the aviation industry. It offers students a chance to apply their creativity in an exceptional learning environment that will equip them in a highly competitive job market. Students can chose from six subjects: Efficiency, Passenger Experience, Energy, Affordable Growth, Traffic Growth, Community Friendliness.
Key figures Fly Your Ideas 2015:
- A total of 518 multi-disciplinary teams representing 3,700 students from 104 countries submitted projects by December 2014
- 100 teams selected for Round Two, representing 413 students of 48 nationalities
- 45% of the teams are based in Asia-Pacific, 35% in Europe, 15% in Americas
- 71% of teams are made of a mix of students from different nationalities, genders, and/or studying different subjects
- About half of all the teams involve female students
Cincinnati, Ohio – The DV Series was designed as the next generation of Clippard’s original EV line of popular Mouse valves. The DV-3 line of Minimatic electronic valves are precision-built 3-way control valves, using a patented valving principle. With a solid, sleek design, high flow rates, and a cycle life of more than a billion, these valves suit many applications across numerous industries. This series is also highly modifiable with many flow, mounting, pressure, voltage, material, and other options.
- Industry standard for leak-free operation
- 1,000,000,000+ cycles
- High flows in a miniature stainless steel design
- Low heat rise/low power and fast response
- Robust stainless steel spider-type flat armature spring
Source: Clippard Instrument Laboratory Inc.
Redditch, UK – Fokker Services, a business line of Fokker Technologies, and GKN Aerospace have launched the first SkyView Window for a civil jet aircraft. The SkyView window, a Fokker supplemental type certificate, will be the first of its kind certified for the business aviation community and will be offered to Boeing Business Jets owners and operators by Fokker Services. Up to four SkyView windows can be installed on each aircraft. GKN Aerospace will supply the first set of 1.5m long x 0.5m high windows to Fokker Services in December this year – just 7 months after contract award.
Fokker Services will fit the demisting, acrylic, SkyView windows, incorporating the GKN’s patented Crystal Vue II coating, into the passenger cabin of a converted BBJ 737-700 aircraft. The windows will be designed and manufactured at the GKN Aerospace Luton site, with the first set of windows due to be delivered in December 2015 and the conversion completed and certified by 1st quarter of 2016.
The large transparencies will be made with advanced forming technologies and incorporate special coatings to provide clarity, reliability, and longevity. The aircraft’s wide, sleek windows will offer a wide-angle view of the skies.
Source: GKN Aerospace