Tag Archives: Aviation

Updates from GE

A Short Flight for a Jet, A Giant Leap for a Jet Engine

GE – Over the last several weeks, crews at GE Aviation’s flight test base in Victorville, CA, at the edge of the Mojave Desert, installed a next-generation jet engine with ceramic components and 3-D printed parts to the wing of a modified Boeing 747, and readied it for its maiden flight.

The engine, called LEAP, successfully took to the skies on Monday (Oct 6).
There are three versions of the jet engine: the LEAP-1A for the new Airbus 320neo passenger jets, the LEAP-1B for Boeing’s 737MAX aircraft, and the LEAP-1C for China’s COMAC C919 planes.

The LEAP is the bestselling family of jet engines in GE history. CFM has received more than $100 billion in orders (U.S. list price) from airlines like United, Air Asia, American Airlines and easyJet. They will use them on single-aisle aircraft, the fastest growing market in commercial aviation. more> http://tinyurl.com/qzqsbqj

Updates from GE

Underdog Scientist Cracks Code to Reduce Flight Delays

GE – Currently, the flight plans that set routes, speed and altitudes for passenger planes have one major flaw – it’s impossible to adjust them in real time during the flight. This means they can’t take account of constantly changing variables like wind, weather and airspace restraints. Jose Fonollosa’s algorithms use national airspace data from Flight Stats to determine in real time the most efficient flight paths, speeds and altitudes.

GE organized the competition in partnership with the open Big Data community Kaggle and Alaska Airlines. The companies challenged data scientists to develop algorithms that could improve flight efficiency and reduce the number of delays.

The winning model by Jose Fonollosa, a professor at the Signal Theory and Communications Department of Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña in Barcelona, Spain, turned out to be 12 percent more efficient when compared with data from actual flights. more> http://tinyurl.com/mdy8zue

Updates from GE

This Fuel Cell Startup Could Spark a Revolution

GE – A fuel cell works like a battery, using a simple chemical reaction to provide energy. In fuel cells, this reaction involves hydrogen molecules abundant in natural gas and oxygen from ordinary air.

It sounds easy enough, but the process is full of pitfalls. Car companies, for example, have tried to make fuel cells work as a replacement for the internal combustion engine for more 20 years without commercial success.

But scientists in GE labs recently cracked an important conundrum involving one iteration of the technology called solid oxide fuel cell, or SOFC.

The fuel cell has no moving parts. The guts of the cell look like a stack of cookies. Each cookie is a metallic plate with a maze of flow channels cut into the bottom and a square of black “icing” on top.

That icing is the core of the breakthrough that makes the solid oxide fuel cell work. It contains three layers made from special ceramic materials: the cathode on top, the anode on the bottom, and a dense layer of solid oxide electrolyte in the middle.

GE is using additive thermal spray technology originally developed to protect parts working inside jet engines to deposit the anode and the electrolyte. more> http://tinyurl.com/pexm6fo

Updates from GE

Aerial Intelligence: This Airbus Makes Pilots Smarter

GE – At first glance, Air Asia’s fleet of Airbus A320 planes look like any other passenger aircraft. But look under the hood and you will find an array of sensors and proprietary technology developed by GE that make their pilots smarter.

That’s because the systems gather performance, weather, flight path and other data and feed it over the Industrial Internet to the cloud, so that it can be crunched by software and analytical engines built and operated by GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services unit. The system looks for hidden patterns and saving opportunities, and allows the airline to cut its annual fuel bill by more than 1 percent. Doesn’t seem like much? Consider that it’s on average about 550 pounds of jet fuel – the equivalent of 11 packed suitcases – per hour of flight.

GE is also working with Air Asia and the Department of Civil Aviation (the regional equivalent of the FAA) to roll out a GPS-based flight path program at 15 Malaysian airports, and another eight in Thailand and Indonesia. The goal is to improve their efficiency and possibly increase capacity.

While GPS does not sound revolutionary in other contexts, keep in mind that most aircraft still use radio beacons to determine their position. The new system, called Required Navigation Performance (RNP), was first designed by Alaska Airlines pilot Steve Fulton after going through many sweat-soaked night landings at the mountain-rimmed airport in Juneau, AK. It was further developed by GE Aviation. more> http://tinyurl.com/n3aclu7

Researchers develop fuel cells for increased airplane efficiency

By Tina Hilding – Fuel cells offer a clean and highly efficient way to convert the chemical energy in fuels into electrical energy.

A solid-oxide fuel cell is similar to a battery in that it has an anode, cathode, and electrolyte and creates electricity. But it uses fuel to create a continuous flow of electricity. The process could be approximately four times more efficient than a combustion engine because it is based on an electrochemical reaction. The solid-oxide fuel cell is different from other fuels cells in that it is made of solid materials, and the electricity is created by oxygen ions traveling through the fuel cell. more> http://tinyurl.com/m6lrweo

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 makes it clear: we need to rethink black boxes

By Stephen Trimble – The ongoing mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is the fault of a bizarre quirk in our networked society. Even cars have broadband connectivity now, but the modern jet airliner – perhaps our most technologically evolved mode of transport – still exists in the age of radio.

The system that powers the plane is limited to pre-dial-up internet connection speeds.

The commercial aircraft upon which we depend for transportation and economic growth need to finally enter the Information Age. Then searches for missing planes won’t have to resemble the hunt for Amelia Earhart [2]. more> http://tinyurl.com/nxa23ly

Updates from BOEING

787-9: Innovation Evolution

787-9 Dreamliner First Flight
September 17, 2013. Starting approximately 9:40 AM PST/4:40 PM GMT (click to view)

BOEING – The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family, offering airlines the ability to grow routes opened with the 787-8. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters), the 787-9 will carry 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 kilometers), with 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering the features passengers prefer such as large, dimmable windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.

Boeing‘s global partners delivered the first 787-9 sections to final assembly on or ahead of schedule, and strong progress continues beyond, with major assembly under way on the other flight-test airplanes. “The dedication, quality and skill of our partners are helping drive our disciplined performance,” said Mark Jenks, vice president, 787 Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. more> http://tinyurl.com/pjzy2g7