USAF analyst suggests ways to avoid cost overruns on 6th-gen fighter

lunes, 13 de agosto de 2018


Bjorn’s Corner: Supersonic transport revival

The interest in civil supersonic flight has been revived in the last years. Aerion Supersonic is well advanced with its AS2 supersonic business jet and there are several projects looking at restarting supersonic airliner service, 15 years after the Concorde stopped flying.

We will examine the unique challenges facing these projects in a series of Corners. Continue reading:


Interesting Video of the Textron Scorpion cockpit in Manned-Unmanned Teaming Demonstration

Interesting Video of the Textron Scorpion cockpit in Manned-Unmanned Teaming Demonstration


TSAGI conducts anti-icing research for light convertible aircraft

press release

Icing is one of the most dangerous environmental effects for aircraft. It reduces the aircraft lift and the critical angle of attack, and increases its weight and drag. In addition, icing interferes with controllers, impairs visibility, and adversely affect the engines.

The ice growth on aircraft lift surfaces occurs mainly during takeoff, landing and “waiting” mode, that is, at low altitudes when the air contains a large quantity of supercooled droplets. Deicing is an important task to improve flight safety. The optimal deicing protection level of the aircraft lift surfaces must be chosen at the initial design stage. At a later stage it will help to avoid significant layout changes, power plant increase and energy loss.

Specialists of the Zhukovsky Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) conducted anti-icing research for light convertible aircraft. Experiments were held in TsAGI’s small speed wind tunnel.

The program tested a model with simulated ice on the wing and empennage, which could form in the “waiting” mode. The simulator configuration was corrected against the background of the new aircraft layout modification. It was revealed that the investigated forms of ice did not affect the effectiveness of the vertical tail and rudder. In this regard, the plane does not need fin surface deicing.

At the next stage, the scientists plan to continue computation and experimental research of icing to form the requirements for designing the most effective deicing system for wing and horizontal empennage.

The lightweight convertible aircraft will be utilized both for passenger and for freight without changing the design. The aircraft is designed to transport 50 passengers over a distance of 1500 km or 6 tons of cargo at a distance of 1000 km. Its cruising speed will reach 480 km/h.a


Hypersonic airliner "may not be as hard as people think": Boeing CTO


‘Sheepdog robot’ herds birds away from flight paths

Scientists have equipped a drone with a new algorithm to herd birds without human input, saving aeroplanes and birds alike. Continue reading


Robotic Herding of a Flock of Birds Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
In this paper, we derive an algorithm for enabling a single robotic unmanned aerial vehicle to herd a flock of birds away from a designated volume of space, such as the air space around an airport. The herding algorithm, referred to as the m -waypoint algorithm, is designed using a dynamic model of bird flocking based on Reynolds’ rules. We derive bounds on its performance using a combination of reduced-order modeling of the flock’s motion, heuristics, and rigorous analysis. A unique contribution of the paper is the experimental demonstration of several facets of the herding algorithm on flocks of live birds reacting to a robotic pursuer. The experiments allow us to estimate several parameters of the flocking model, and especially the interaction between the pursuer and the flock. The herding algorithm is also demonstrated using numerical simulations.


Bizarre Airline Theft and Crash Blamed on Airport Worker (Updated)

An airport worker apparently took unauthorized possession of a Horizon Air Q400 twin turboprop, got it powered up, and somehow took off without permission or clearance from Sea-Tac Airport late Friday night. Once on flight he performed some aerobatics before running out of fuel and crashing in an island.

Continue reading


UCLan unveils world’s first graphene skinned plane

Press Release

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has unveiled the world’s first graphene skinned plane at an internationally renowned air show. Juno, a three-and-a-half-metre wide graphene skinned aircraft, was revealed on the North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) stand as part of the ‘Futures Day’ at Farnborough Air Show 2018.

The University’s aerospace engineering team has worked in partnership with the Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute (NGI), Haydale Graphene Industries (Haydale) and a range of other businesses to develop the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which also includes graphene batteries and 3D printed parts.

Billy Beggs, UCLan’s Engineering Innovation Manager, said: “The industry reaction to Juno at Farnborough was superb with many positive comments about the work we’re doing. Having Juno at one the world’s biggest air shows demonstrates the great strides we’re making in leading a programme to accelerate the uptake of graphene and other nano-materials into industry.

“The programme supports the objectives of the UK Industrial Strategy and the University’s Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) to increase industry relevant research and applications linked to key local specialisms. Given that Lancashire represents the fourth largest aerospace cluster in the world, there is perhaps no better place to be developing next generation technologies for the UK aerospace industry.”

Previous graphene developments at UCLan have included the world’s first flight of a graphene skinned wing and the launch of a specially designed graphene-enhanced capsule into near space using high altitude balloons.
UCLan engineering students have been involved in the hands-on project, helping build Juno on the Preston Campus.
Haydale supplied much of the material and all the graphene used in the aircraft. Ray Gibbs, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to be part of the project team. Juno has highlighted the capability and benefit of using graphene to meet key issues faced by the market, such as reducing weight to increase range and payload, defeating lightning strike and protecting aircraft skins against ice build-up.”

David Bailey Chief Executive of the North West Aerospace Alliance added: “The North West aerospace cluster contributes over £7 billion to the UK economy, accounting for one quarter of the UK aerospace turnover. It is essential that the sector continues to develop next generation technologies so that it can help the UK retain its competitive advantage. It has been a pleasure to support the Engineering Innovation Centre team at the University in developing the world’s first full graphene skinned aircraft.”

The Juno project team represents the latest phase in a long-term strategic partnership between the University and a range of organisations. The partnership is expected to go from strength to strength following the opening of the £32m EIC facility in February 2019.

The next step is to fly Juno and conduct further tests over the next two months.


The additional partners involved in the project are: FDM Digital Solutions, Fastavia Ltd., Tri-cast Composite Tubes Ltd., John Burn Ltd. the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at the University of Manchester and the Advanced Manufacturing and Automation Centre (AMAC) at Training 2000.

Haydale is a global technologies and materials group that facilitates the integration of graphene and other nanomaterials into the next generation of commercial technologies and industrial materials. With expertise in graphene, silicon carbide and other nanomaterials, Haydale is able to deliver improvements in electrical, thermal and mechanical properties, as well as toughness. Haydale has granted patents for its technologies in Europe, USA, Australia, Japan and China and operates from six sites in the UK, USA and the Far East.

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston was founded in 1828 as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge. Since those early days it has grown into one of the UK’s largest universities with a staff and student community approaching 38,000 and an employment-focused course portfolio containing over 350 undergraduate programmes and nearly 250 postgraduate courses. The University has an established research reputation with world-leading or internationally excellent work taking place within the areas of Business, Health, Humanities and Science.

As a truly global institution with an established campus in Cyprus, UCLan’s student body includes 120 nationalities and its partnership network extends to 125 countries. In 2013 the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings awarded UCLan the full five stars for its global outlook in all aspects of international educational provision. In 2017 the Centre for World University Rankings placed UCLan in the top 3.3 percent of all worldwide universities.

The University has a strong focus on continually improving the student experience and recently unveiled a 10-year, £200 million plan to redevelop its Preston Campus to create an attractive and inviting, world-class campus helping to create jobs, kick-start regeneration and attract inward investment into the City.


UT Works with Uber and Army Research Labs on New uberAIR Program

press release

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin will work with the U.S. Army Research Labs (ARL) and Uber Elevate to help develop new rotor technology for vehicles that will be used in Uber’s proposed urban aviation ride-share­­ network — called uberAIR.

Last year, Uber announced that the first Uber Elevate cities would be Dallas (DFW metroplex) and Los Angeles, with a goal of flight demonstrations in 2020 and plans to make uberAIR commercially available to riders in those cities by 2023. As part of the uberAIR program, the company has entered into partnerships with several major aircraft manufacturers and signed a space act agreement with NASA, which will stimulate the development of new unmanned traffic management concepts and aerial safety systems.

The design of the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft to be used in the project specifies that it is a fully electric vehicle with a cruising speed of 150-200 mph, a cruising altitude of 1,000-2,000 feet and the ability to complete trips of up to 60 miles on a single charge.

“UT is uniquely positioned to contribute to this new technology, and Uber has recognized that,” said Jayant Sirohi, associate professor in UT’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and the UT team leader on the project. “In addition to the technical expertise we bring to this area, we also already have a rig to test new rotor configurations right here on campus.”

Sirohi is one of the country’s leading experts in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology, VTOL aircraft and fixed- and rotary-wing aeroelasticity. He and his team, which includes postdoctoral fellow Christopher Cameron and Charles Tinney from UT’s Applied Research Laboratories, will explore the efficiency and noise signature of stacked co-rotating rotors, or propellers, for VTOL, a novel flying technology in which two rotor systems are stacked on top of each other and rotating in the same direction.

Preliminary testing of this concept has shown the potential for stacked co-rotating rotors to be more efficient than other approaches while simultaneously improving versatility and overall performance for a flying craft.

Both of the proposed Uber Elevate launch cities suffer from major traffic congestion, especially during rush hour. For example, the current drive from DFW International Airport to the nearby city of Frisco, a distance of less than 25 miles, could take up to an hour during rush hour. In an uberAIR vehicle, it could take less than 10 minutes.

An official launch of the collaboration takes place today on campus with leaders from Uber, ARL and UT in attendance.