When Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA) hosts ADVANCE/2020, its 19th annual conference in February, the emphasis will be on helping aerospace suppliers look for the window of opportunities in a vastly changing aerospace industry. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), top industry analysts, and tier suppliers will present global market outlooks, collaboration success stories, and best practices.
Brian Canfield, PNAA’s new CEO, explains what attendees and sponsors can expect.
Aerospace Manufacturing & Design (AM&D): What’s this year’s theme?
Brian Canfield (BC): “Plug into Potential: Harnessing Opportunity in Aerospace” focuses on the increasing change in the industry and how suppliers can maximize results. We are seeing advancements in digital manufacturing methods, changes in workforce and workplace culture, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), new industry segments, and geopolitical variables. With these changes come opportunities for companies to increase efficiency, productivity, and their customer base. It’s an exciting time, as these changes will fuel new ways of thinking and new approaches to production, ushering in the next era of aerospace manufacturing.
AM&D: Why attend the conference?
BC: Updates on key topics and leading industry intelligence allow companies to make strategic choices to get ahead. We are seeing consolidation, new entrants, and growing segments that operate differently from traditional aerospace companies. We will cover the latest on workforce, the importance of the space industry, a mid-market aircraft update, and emerging markets.
AM&D: Who are the presenters?
BC: Back by popular demand, market analysts Dr. Kevin Michaels of AeroDynamic Advisory and Richard Aboulafia of Teal Group will share their insights on where the aerospace market is headed. We also will have speakers from Boeing and Airbus, Tier 1s, and other industry authorities throughout the three days. We will host speakers from space and autonomous segments as well as panelists sharing about M&A, workforce, geopolitics, and advanced manufacturing technologies.
AM&D: What’s the best way to attend?
BC: First, register on our website and plan your agenda. You can fly into Sea-Tac Airport, rent a car, or take Uber or Lyft to Lynnwood. Alaska and United Airlines now offer passenger flights to nearby Paine Field in Everett, Washington. Hotel block and other information is on the website.
About the author: Eric Brothers is senior editor of AM&D. He can be reached at 216.393.0228 or email@example.com.
Microturbine technology developer UAV Turbines Inc. made the inaugural flight of its Monarch 5 engine. The technology is engineered to provide mid-sized commercial and military unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) with a heavy-fuel turboprop propulsion system to replace reciprocating engines currently used. Monarch 5 offers remote start, quiet operation, and long maintenance intervals.
The Monarch 5 propulsion system was test flown in a TigerShark airframe from Navmar Applied Science Corp.
$99 billion global military UAV production in 10 years
Teal Group’s 2019/2020 market study estimates that annual global unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) production will increase from $7.3 billion in 2019 to $10.2 billion in 2029, totaling $98.9 billion in the next 10 years. Military UAV research spending would add another $61 billion throughout the decade.
“Increasing trade in costly high-altitude, long-endurance systems, low-cost Chinese exports, demand for armed UAVs, development of the next generation of unmanned combat systems, and potential new applications are combining to fuel market growth,” says Philip Finnegan, Teal Group’s director of corporate analysis and an author of the study.
The study predicts the U.S. will account for almost 80% of total military worldwide research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) spending on UAV technology throughout the next decade, and about 47% of the military procurement.
The study forecasts UAV payloads, including electro-optical/infrared sensors, synthetic aperture radars, signals intelligence, electronic warfare systems, and command-control systems to grow in value from $5.5 billion now to $8.3 billion by 2029.
The study’s authors see the worldwide UAV market as a prime area of growth for defense and aerospace companies.
Boeing MQ-25 US Navy refueling UAV completes first flight
Boeing’s MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueler aircraft completed its first autonomous test flight, lasting two hours, under the direction of Boeing pilots operating from a ground control station at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois, where the test program is based.
The Boeing-owned test vehicle is a predecessor to the engineering development model (EDM) aircraft and is being used for early learning and discovery to meet the goals of the U.S. Navy’s accelerated acquisition program. Boeing will produce four EDM MQ-25 air vehicles for the U.S. Navy under an $805 million contract awarded in August 2018.
The MQ-25 will provide the Navy with carrier-based unmanned aerial refueling capability, allowing strike fighters currently performing tanker duties to resume combat roles.
ACU-Rite software for the 300 Series digital readout (DRO) allows users to control a sinker EDM machine. The DRO can be used in milling, turning, grinding, and EDM manual machines in a single DRO.
The software is loaded into a DRO300 and coupled with an IOB 610 interface box, enabling the simple control of sinker EDM using three relay signals. It is included on all new multipurpose DRO300s.
ToolRoom RN34 software for aerospace and other industries offers cycles for manufacturing ballnose tools suitable for finishing and roughing. Designer edges can accommodate high helix on the ball cutting edge for better fracture resistance and reduced vibration due to the irregular curve. Other features include:
Tool balancing – reduces noise, vibrations; improves machine bearing life, better surface finish
Fluting cycles – Eliminates harmonics caused by high speed machining
Lollipop cutter – High helix angles for better surface finish, chip removal
The cable integrated mounting (CIM) clamping system provides high precision, accuracy, and repeatability through an internal tool indexing mechanism that locates the tool in the correct orientation. The collet holds the tool securely for high stability, and tool change does not require removal of the holder.
Designed to fit standard and special Carmex Tiny Tools, the CIM system eliminates retaining screws and features three clamping flats on the shank for maximum flexibility.
Its internal coolant feature allows for flow through the CIM holder and the Tiny Tool for delivery to the cutting edge.
The Vomat UBF vacuum band filter can handle sludge-cutting materials such as ceramic, high-speed steel (HSS), brass, aluminum oxide, and disc abrasion. It operates with oil and water-miscible coolants and can also be combined with a Vomat fine filtration unit. The system is available in 110 gal/min, 264 gal/min and 528 gal/min filtration capacities.
Swiss-type automatic lathe
The SX-38 Swiss-type lathe uses slant-bed construction to ensure rigidity for the turret mounted tooling. The B-axis is servo driven for positioning or surfacing for difficult to generate designs (examples shown below). With the B-axis unit supported on both ends, heavier cuts are possible while maintaining fine finishes. When the part doesn’t require a guide bushing, it can be removed allowing a 42mm max. machining diameter.
Remote visual inspection
TVG-PRO Series videoscopes offer tungsten braid cables in combinations of three lengths of 1.5m (59"), 2m (78"), and 3m (118") and three diameters of 2.8mm (0.110"), 4mm (0.157"), and 6mm (0.236"). The modular videoscopes have either 180° or full 360° articulation with one video control handle using any of the easily changed cables.
The videoscopes are designed for on-site inspections and maintenance.
Field of view is 80° or 90° and depth of view is 10mm-to-80mm or 15mm-to-8, depending on the model.
Chipbreaker for aluminum finishing
The AP Style chipbreaker for aluminum combines sharp cutting edge with a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating to prevent burrs and provide excellent chip control and surface finish on internal and external turning applications.
Embraer’s TechCare portfolio includes more than 300 repairable part numbers and materials and engineering services supported from Embraer’s spare parts facility in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
With this agreement, Azul secures original equipment manufacturer (OEM) support for its entire Embraer fleet, including the airline’s new-generation E2 jets already covered by Embraer Pool Program. Azul has relied on Embraer for its materials requirements since 2008, when it began operating first generation E-Jets.
Ecommerce aviation parts platform
AeroParts Now, an ecommerce solution for aviation part sellers, has launched a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform.
Customers can use the system to synchronize inventory with third-party marketplaces, streamline the quoting process, enhance customer communication, and enable direct-to-customer transactions through custom-branded web and mobile storefronts.
For example, the APN Inventory app allows customers to enroll parts and add product photos, inventory tags, and other certification documentation to parts in the system and a connected enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. It also lets part sellers without an ERP system organize and list parts on storefronts or third-party marketplaces.
AeroParts Now’s SaaS model offers parts sellers greater flexibility and lower overall costs. Customers can add new services as needed or add custom features with AeroParts Now professional services.
AeroParts Now President Will Dent says, “Our platform features will help propel the industry forward by modernizing the way suppliers sell and buyers purchase aircraft parts.”
iBASEt launches MRO software
iBASEt MRO software enables better visibility, speed, and reliability for maintenance and repair of highly engineered products consisting of multiple assemblies with high value and long life cycles.
The software serves original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as well as aerospace and defense maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) providers who must support strict compliance requirements. It provides managers better control and consistency for MRO execution through detailed planning and tracking of parts, labor hours, and required resources.
iBASEt MRO offers operators a complete product history of critical materials and resources for MRO work plans, along with traceability of important sustainment operations such as equipment data, serial numbers, and inspection results, including vendor-supplied parts.
It can integrate with enterprise resource planning (ERP), product lifecycle management (PLM), and other software.
AAR, BAE Systems expand regional jet support
Commercial and government aviation services provider AAR has expanded its component repair and overhaul services with BAE Systems to include a wider range of components to support its regional aircraft programs.
AAR began the component repair contract in January 2019 and expanded the agreement in September. The scope of services focuses on BAE Systems’ out-of-production regional aircraft, with AAR repairing legacy platform components.