“We believe the airline ecosystem will be 50 per cent smaller” or How coronavirus brought aerospace down to earth

lunes, 20 de abril de 2020



ITF and IATA: Support from governments essential to protect jobs and preserve aviation industry



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Bone-inspired material ups its strength as more force is applied



Press Release

More stress placed on one end of the beam led to more mineralization. As stress gradually decreased across the beam, so did the amount of mineralization.
Credit: Sung Hoon Kang

For the JHU team’s experiment, increased force (arrow pointing down) applied on the material led to more electrical charges, and thus, more mineralization.
Credit: Pam Li/Johns Hopkins University

Press Release

Inspired by how human bone and colorful coral reefs adjust mineral deposits in response to their surrounding environments, Johns Hopkins researchers have created a self-adapting material that can change its stiffness in response to the applied force. This advancement can someday open the doors for materials that can self-reinforce to prepare for increased force or stop further damage.

A report of the findings was published today in Advanced Materials.

“Imagine a bone implant or a bridge that can self-reinforce where a high force is applied without inspection and maintenance. It will allow safer implants and bridges with minimal complication, cost and downtime,” says Sung Hoon Kang, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute, and Institute for NanoBioTechnology at The Johns Hopkins University and the study’s senior author.

While other researchers have attempted to create similar synthetic materials before, doing so has been challenging because such materials are difficult and expensive to create, or require active maintenance when they are created and are limited in how much stress they can bear. Having materials with adaptable properties, like those of wood and bone, can provide safer structures, save money and resources, and reduce harmful environmental impact.

Natural materials can self-regulate by using resources in the surrounding environment; for example, bones use cell signals to control the addition or removal of minerals taken from blood around them. Inspired by these natural materials, Kang and colleagues sought to create a materials system that could add minerals in response to applied stress.

The team started off by using materials that can convert mechanical forces into electrical charges as scaffolds, or support structures, that can create charges proportional to external force placed on it. The team’s hope was that these charges could serve as signals for the materials to start mineralization from mineral ions in the environment.

Kang and colleagues immersed polymer films of these materials in a simulated body fluid mimicking ionic concentrations of human blood plasma. After the materials incubated in the simulated body fluid, minerals started forming on the surfaces. The team also discovered that they could control the types of minerals formed by controlling the fluid’s ion composition.

The team then set up a beam anchored on one end to gradually increase stress from one end of the materials to the other and found that regions with more stress had more mineral buildup; the mineral height was proportional to the square root of stress applied.

Their methods, the researchers say, are simple, low-cost and don’t require extra energy.“Our findings can pave the way for a new class of self-regenerating materials that can self-reinforce damaged areas,” says Kang. Kang hopes that these materials can someday be used as scaffolds to accelerate treatment of bone-related disease or fracture, smart resins for dental treatments or other similar applications.

Additionally, these findings contribute to scientists’ understanding of dynamic materials and how mineralization works, which could shed light on ideal environments needed for bone regeneration.


Johns Hopkins University news releases are available online, as is information for reporters. To arrange a video or audio interview with a Johns Hopkins expert, contact a media representative listed above or visit our studio web page. Find more Johns Hopkins stories on the Hub.


Boeing CEO Message on U.S. Government Support for Airlines and the Aerospace Industry

press release

Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun issued the following letter to employees today regarding U.S. government support for airlines and the aerospace industry:


Our industry took a step on the long road to recovery from the COVID-19 crisis this week. The U.S. government and 10 airlines agreed on a $25 billion package of support that will help tide our customers over until passengers can begin to travel again.

Let me take a moment to underscore how important that is.

The impact of the global pandemic on the airlines has been like nothing anyone has ever seen. Global airline revenues are set to drop by a total of $314 billion by the end of the year. In the U.S. alone, some 2,500 aircraft have been idled, and passenger volume is down over 95% compared to last year. The relief provided by the government is vital to maintaining the aviation pillar of the U.S. economy, even if full recovery will take years, not months.

Knowing that the U.S. airline industry has critical financial support through this devastating wave of the virus allows us to plan our production system for the medium- and long-term impact on air travel. We are hopeful that governments around the world will follow the lead of the U.S. and support their aviation industry in a similar fashion. In addition, the U.S. government can now turn its attention to the manufacturing base that supports the global air travel industry.

Our industry will need the government’s support, which will be critical to ensuring access to credit markets and likely take the form of loans versus outright grants. The aerospace industry is a vital pillar of the economy, supported by 17,000 suppliers and 2.5 million jobs. For every dollar Boeing spends, approximately 70 cents goes directly to our suppliers. Our team continues to focus on the best ways to keep liquidity flowing through our business and to our supply chain until our customers are buying airplanes again. We continue to believe strongly in the future of aviation and of Boeing as the industry leader and are willing to borrow against that future.

I promise to keep you informed on our work to navigate through this crisis and beyond. But in the meantime, if you’re looking for a spirit boost in these challenging times, I encourage you to look around the company at the fantastic work going on in support of our colleagues, customers, suppliers and communities.

The realization that we’re all in this together is especially important as we begin making the transition back to work at Boeing sites as it’s safe to do so.

Following thorough reviews of local conditions, we’ve started restoring operations at some sites where work has been suspended. This includes teams in the Puget Sound region and in Heath, Ohio. Colleagues returning to work will see a wide range of safety measures in place, including operating practices to enable physical distancing such as staggered shift times, spread-out work areas and visual controls, voluntary body temperature screenings, and of course constant visible reminders to wash hands and monitor our personal well-being.

The people of Boeing also continue to give back to the community. Recently, members of our team connected companies in our supply chain to help facilitate the production of critical N95 face masks. In addition, we’ve 3D printed and delivered an initial 2,300 face shields to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for distribution to health care professionals in need of personal protective equipment, and we’re planning to deliver 4,000 more by the end of this week.

And even while we adapt to a new and unusual work environment, teams continue to deliver for our customers. Just this month, we received a U.S. Navy contract modification for three additional MQ-25 aircraft. We delivered the first CH-47F Chinook to the Royal Netherlands Air Force. We achieved two testing milestones for the Loyal Wingman program. We completed the successful first flight of the F-15QA fighter. We had service representatives continuing to provide support in the field. And we continue to make good progress on returning the 737 MAX safely to service.

As you’ve heard me say before, we’re in uncharted waters. The impact of this global virus will change our business for years to come. But we’re doing what it takes to emerge from it strong and competitive.

I want to thank everyone for what you do to meet the needs of our customers and stakeholders. It’s work that keeps our business operating, honors our brand and ensures we will recover and continue to lead the industry once the pandemic subsides.



Boeing to Resume Commercial Airplanes Production in Puget Sound and Philadelphia




Boeing Delivers 500th AH-64E Apache Helicopter

press release

Production, flight test and deliveries of the AH-64E Apache helicopter continue at the Boeing [NYSE: BA] site in Mesa, Arizona. With 500 AH-64E Apaches in service with the United States Army and defense forces around the world, the ‘Echo’ model provides enhanced performance; joint digital interoperability; situational awareness and survivability with reduced operational and support costs. First delivered in 2011, the AH-64E has been used in combat operations and peacekeeping efforts. Planned modernization of this multi-role combat helicopter ensures it is ready to fulfill operational requirements globally.


Boeing Activates Airlift Capabilities for First COVID-19 Transport Mission

press release

- Partnered with FIRST Robotics Founder Dean Kamen to bring personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare professionals in the U.S.
- Deployed 737-700 from corporate fleet to transport 540,000 face masks to New Hampshire
- Additional airlift transport missions with the Boeing Dreamlifter and ecoDemonstrator are planned in the future

Boeing [NYSE: BA] today completed its first COVID-19 transport mission, using a 737-700 aircraft from its corporate fleet to bring personal protective equipment (PPE) from China to the United States. Working in partnership with FIRST® Robotics Founder Dean Kamen, the company transported 540,000 medical-grade face masks that will be delivered to healthcare professionals battling COVID-19 in New Hampshire.

Kamen, who has a longstanding relationship with Boeing through FIRST Robotics, is also a founder of DEKA Research and Development Corporation. He worked with DEKA to secure the face masks from manufacturers in China and turned to Boeing to facilitate their transport. DEKA is the importer of record for the delivery and provided the masks to New Hampshire for distribution to healthcare professionals in the state.

"Another life-saving delivery of PPE has arrived in New Hampshire," said Governor Chris Sununu. "Thanks to Dean Kamen for facilitating this deal, and to Boeing for donating the cost of this mission transport. The state will deliver these masks to the greatest areas of need across New Hampshire so those on the frontline have the necessary resources to fight COVID-19."

"Boeing has been a long-time partner of FIRST Robotics and I'm proud that I can again partner with the Boeing team to meet the needs of our frontline healthcare professionals fighting COVID-19," said Kamen. "Now more than ever, help from companies like Boeing is critical so we can continue to make sure protective equipment gets to the people who need it most."

Boeing continues to support local communities and the heroic healthcare professionals working tirelessly to stop the spread of COVID-19. Additional airlift transport missions with the Boeing Dreamlifter and ecoDemonstrator are planned in the future. Boeing is coordinating closely with U.S. government officials on how to best assist areas with the greatest need.

"I want to personally thank Governor Sununu, the entire New Hampshire congressional delegation and Dean Kamen for their leadership in helping secure and distribute this much-needed personal protective equipment for our frontline healthcare workers and first responders here in New Hampshire," said Dave Calhoun, Boeing president and CEO. "We are honored to have conducted today's airlift mission and we look forward to providing continued support in the fight against this pandemic."


Airbus will support France and India to monitor climate change with TRISHNA

press release

The French Space Agency (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, CNES) has recently signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space for the development and manufacture of the thermal infrared instrument for the TRISHNA satellite.

TRISHNA (Thermal infraRed Imaging Satellite for High resolution Natural resource Assessment) will be the latest satellite in the joint Franco-Indian satellite fleet dedicated to climate monitoring and operational applications. CNES and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) are partnering on the development of an infrared observation system with high thermal resolution and high revisit capability including a satellite and associated ground segment.

TRISHNA observations will enhance our understanding of the water cycle and improve management of the planet’s precious water resources, to better define the impacts of climate change, especially at local levels.

In the international partnership workshare, ISRO will provide the platform, the visible and short wave infrared instrument and will be the prime contractor for the satellite, while CNES is co-responsible for the mission and will provide the thermal infrared instrument, to be developed by Airbus. The ground segment is shared between both countries.

For this mission, Airbus is leveraging the latest innovations and synergies from other programmes (IASI-NG, CO3D…) to offer an affordable high performance instrument, with the aim of encouraging development of a commercial market.

Measuring surface temperatures provides information on hydric stress - a lack of water - and its impact on the vegetative cycle, and this monitoring of water and energy cycles is one of the main objectives of the mission, to be applied particularly in agriculture and hydrology. This mission will also serve numerous other applications: surveillance of continental and coastal waters, follow up of urban heat traps, risk monitoring (fire detection and volcanic activity), study of the cryosphere (glaciers, frozen lakes) and radiation budget assessment.

TRISHNA represents a significant step forward, both in terms of resolution and refresh rate, compared with existing missions, improving research opportunities and enabling further development of applications.

While existing missions are limited in terms of resolution (above 1km) and with revisit only every few weeks, TRISHNA will image the Earth every three days, at 50m resolution, observing a wide temperature range, from approx. -20°C to +30°C, with high precision (0.3°C).

Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus said: “Thanks to ambitious science missions like TRISHNA, our industry has reached a technological maturity that opens up a new era of commercial observation of the Earth and all related applications. France’s world-leading expertise in the Earth observation export market, combined with the unmatched efficiency and ambition of the Indian Space industry is going to bring thermal infrared imagery to a new level. This will enable breakthrough applications in agriculture, urban and coastal zone management, meteorology, climate science and many commercial applications.”


Airbus achieves world’s first fully automatic refuelling contacts

press release

Photo caption: The picture shows the first fully automated refuelling contacts between an Airbus tanker test aircraft and a Portuguese Air Force F-16 fighter jet.

Airbus has achieved the first ever fully automatic air-to-air refuelling (A3R) operation with a boom system. The flight test campaign, conducted earlier in the year over the Atlantic Ocean, involved an Airbus tanker test aircraft equipped with the Airbus A3R solution, with an F-16 fighter aircraft of the Portuguese Air Force acting as a receiver.

This milestone is part of the industrialisation phase of A3R systems ahead of its implementation in the A330 MRTT tanker development.

The campaign achieved a total of 45 flight test hours and 120 dry contacts with the A3R system, covering the whole aerial refuelling envelope, as the F-16 and MRTT consolidate the maturity and capabilities of the development at this stage. The certification phase will start in 2021.

Didier Plantecoste, Airbus Head of Tanker and Derivatives Programmes, said: “The achievement of this key milestone for the A3R programme highlights the A330 MRTT’s excellent capability roadmap development and once more confirms that our tanker is the world’s reference for present and future refuelling operations. Our special thanks go to the Portuguese Air Force for their continued support and help on this crucial development”.

The A3R system requires no additional equipment on the receiver aircraft and is intended to reduce air refuelling operator (ARO) workload, improve safety and optimise the rate of air-to-air refuelling transfer in operational conditions, helping maximise aerial superiority. The goal for the A3R system is to develop technologies that will reach fully autonomous capabilities.

Once the system is activated by the ARO, the A3R flies the boom automatically and keeps the alignment between the boom tip and the receiver receptacle with an accuracy of a couple of centimeters; the proper alignment and the receiver stability is checked in real-time to keep a safe distance between the boom and the receiver and also to determine the optimum moment to extend the telescopic beam to achieve the connection with the receiver. At this point, the fuel transfer is initiated to fill up the receiver aircraft and once completed and the disconnection is commanded, the boom is cleared away from the receiver by retracting the telescopic beam and flying the boom away to keep a safe separation distance. During this process, the ARO simply monitors the operation.


Avio interiors presents Janus seat, to maximize social distance in pax cabins


press release

Like two-faced Janus, the god of Ancient Rome, this proposal is distinguished by the reverse position of the center seat of the triple to ensure the maximum isolation between passengers seated next to each other. While passengers seated on the side seats, aisle and fuselage, continue to be positioned in the flight direction as usual, the passenger sitting in the center is facing backwards.

So “Janus” is a two-faced seat, in fact this arrangement allows all three passengers to be separated with a shield made of transparent material that isolates them from each other, creating a protective barrier for everyone. Each passenger has its own space isolated from others, even from people who walk through the aisle.

Each place of the “Janus” seat is surrounded on three sides by a high shield that prevents the breath propagation to occupants of adjacent seats.

“Janus” seat is made of easy cleaning and safe hygienisation materials.
The option is available with the shield in opaque material or with different degrees of transparency.


Norwegian says 4,700 jobs at risk after unit bankruptcies, contracts axed