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Journal Article

Aircraft Wing Build Philosophy Change through System Pre-Equipping of Major Components

2016-09-27
2016-01-2120
In the civil aircraft industry there is a continuous drive to increase the aircraft production rate, particularly for single aisle aircraft where there is a large backlog of orders. One of the bottlenecks is the wing assembly process which is largely manual due to the complexity of the task and the limited accessibility. The presented work describes a general wing build approach for both structure and systems equipping operations. A modified build philosophy is then proposed, concerned with large component pre-equipping, such as skins, spars or ribs. The approach benefits from an offloading of the systems equipping phase and allowing for higher flexibility to organize the pre-equipping stations as separate entities from the overall production line. Its application is presented in the context of an industrial project focused on selecting feasible system candidates for a fixed wing design, based on assembly consideration risks for tooling, interference and access.
Technical Paper

Effects of Ice Accretion in an Aircraft Protective Mesh Strainer of a Fuel Pump

2015-09-15
2015-01-2449
This paper focuses on the investigation of the nature, process and effects of ice accretion on different feed pump strainers upstream of the aircraft feeding system. A suitable test rig was designed to circulate Jet A-1 containing water/ice contaminants at cold temperatures through the strainers. Following an extensive literature review, a number of screening tests were performed. These provided a strong base for an exhaustive study of fuel icing in the dynamic environment offered by the test rig. The effects of the rate of fuel cooling on the nature of ice were examined. As expected, it was observed that the yield of ice generated on the mesh screen increased with the water concentration in the fuel. It was also revealed that at higher cooling rates, a crust of snow formed on top of softer ice on the mesh screen.
Technical Paper

Trajectory Optimization of Airliners to Minimize Environmental Impact

2015-09-15
2015-01-2400
With the rapid growth in passenger transportation through aviation projected to continue into the future, it is incumbent on aerospace engineers to seek ways to reduce the negative impact of airliner operation on the environment. Key metrics to address include noise, fuel consumption, Carbon Dioxide and Nitrous Oxide emissions, and contrail formation. The research presented in this paper generates new aircraft trajectories to reduce these metrics, and compares them with typical scheduled airline operated flights. Results and analysis of test cases on trajectory optimization are presented using an in-house aircraft trajectory optimization framework created under the European Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative, Systems for Green Operation Integrated Technology Demonstrator. The software tool comprises an optimizer core and relatively high fidelity models of the aircraft's flight path performance, air traffic control constraints, propulsion and other systems.
Technical Paper

New Unconventional Airship Concept by Morphing the Lenticular Shape

2015-09-15
2015-01-2577
The aim of this paper is to develop a new concept of unconventional airship based on morphing a lenticular shape while preserving the volumetric dimension. Lenticular shape is known to have relatively poor aerodynamic characteristics. It is also well known to have poor static and dynamic stability after the certain critical speed. The new shape presented in this paper is obtained by extending one and reducing the other direction of the original lenticular shape. The volume is kept constant through the morphing process. To improve the airship performance, four steps of morphing, starting from the lenticular shape, were obtained and compared in terms of aerodynamic characteristics, including drag, lift and pitching moment, and stability characteristics for two different operational scenarios. The comparison of the stability was carried out based on necessary deflection angle of the part of tail surface.
Journal Article

Applying Design for Assembly Principles in Computer Aided Design to Make Small Changes that Improve the Efficiency of Manual Aircraft Systems Installations

2014-09-16
2014-01-2266
The installation of essential systems into aircraft wings involves numerous labour-intensive processes. Many human operators are required to perform complex manual tasks over long periods of time in very challenging physical positions due to the limited access and confined space. This level of human activity in poor ergonomic conditions directly impacts on speed and quality of production but also, in the longer term, can cause costly human resource problems from operators' cumulative development of musculoskeletal injuries. These problems are exacerbated in areas of the wing which house multiple systems components because the volume of manual work and number of operators is higher but the available space is reduced. To improve the efficiency of manual work processes which cannot yet be automated we therefore need to consider how we might redesign systems installations in the enclosed wing environment to better enable operator access and reduce production time.
Technical Paper

Dual Use IVHM for UAS Health Management

2013-09-17
2013-01-2202
UAS (Unmanned aircraft system), widely known to the general public as drones, are comprised of two major system elements: an Unmanned Aircraft (UA) and a Ground Control Station (GCS). UAS have a high mishap rate when compared to manned aircraft. This high mishap rate is one of several barriers to the acceptance of UAS for more widespread usage. Better awareness of the UA real time as well as long term health situation may allow timely condition based maintenance. Vehicle health and usage are two parts of the same solution to improve vehicle safety and lifecycle costs. These can be worked on through the use of two related aircraft management methods, these are: IVHM (Integrated Vehicle Health Management) which combines diagnosis and prognosis methods to help manage aircraft health and maintenance, and FOQA (Flight Operations Quality Assurance) systems which are mainly used to assist in pilot skill quality assurance.
Technical Paper

Integration Issues for Vehicle Level Distributed Diagnostic Reasoners

2013-09-17
2013-01-2294
In today's aircraft the diagnostic and prognostic systems play a crucial part in aircraft safety while reducing the operating and maintenance costs. Aircraft are very complex in their design and require consistent monitoring of systems to establish the overall vehicle health status. Most diagnostic systems utilize advanced algorithms (e.g. Bayesian belief networks or neural networks) which usually operate at system or sub-system level. The sub-system reasoners collect the input from components and sensors to process the data and provide the diagnostic/detection results to the flight advisory unit. Several sources of information must be taken into account when assessing the vehicle health, to accurately identify the health state in real time. These sources of information are independent system-level diagnostics that do not exchange any information/data with the surrounding systems.
Journal Article

Environmental Impact Assessment, on the Operation of Conventional and More Electric Large Commercial Aircraft

2013-09-17
2013-01-2086
Global aviation is growing exponentially and there is a great emphasis on trajectory optimization to reduce the overall environmental impact caused by aircraft. Many optimization techniques exist and are being studied for this purpose. The CLEAN SKY Joint Technology Initiative for aeronautics and Air transport, a European research activity run under the Seventh Framework program, is a collaborative initiative involving industry, research organizations and academia to introduce novel technologies to improve the environmental impact of aviation. As part of the overall research activities, “green” aircraft trajectories are addressed in the Systems for Green Operations (SGO) Integrated Technology Demonstrator. This paper studies the impact of large commercial aircraft trajectories optimized for different objectives applied to the on board systems.
Journal Article

New Guidelines for Implementation of Structural Health Monitoring in Aerospace Applications

2013-09-17
2013-01-2219
The first cross-industry guidelines for the implementation of structural health monitoring for aerospace applications have been created as a SAE International Aerospace Recommended Practices document: SAE ARP 6461 ‘Guidelines for Implementation of Structural Health Monitoring on Fixed Wing Aircraft’ [1]. These guidelines have brought together manufacturers, operators / users, systems integrators, regulators, technology providers and researchers to produce information on the integration of SHM into aircraft maintenance procedures, generic requirements and advice on validation, verification and airworthiness. The take-up of SHM in the aerospace industry has been slow, in part due to the lack of accepted industry practices surrounding not just the technology itself (sensors and sensor systems) but also the associated issues arising from the introduction of new methods into aircraft maintenance.
Technical Paper

Applying a Concept for Robot-Human Cooperation to Aerospace Equipping Processes

2011-10-18
2011-01-2655
Significant effort has been applied to the introduction of automation for the structural assembly of aircraft. However, the equipping of the aircraft with internal services such as hydraulics, fuel, bleed-air and electrics and the attachment of movables such as ailerons and flaps remains almost exclusively manual and little research has been directed towards it. The problem is that the process requires lengthy assembly methods and there are many complex tasks which require high levels of dexterity and judgement from human operators. The parts used are prone to tolerance stack-ups, the tolerance for mating parts is extremely tight (sub-millimetre) and access is very poor. All of these make the application of conventional automation almost impossible. A possible solution is flexible metrology assisted collaborative assembly. This aims to optimise the assembly processes by using a robot to position the parts whilst an operator performs the fixing process.
Journal Article

Application of Genetic Algorithm for Preliminary Trajectory Optimization

2011-10-18
2011-01-2594
The aviation sector has played a significant role in shaping the world into what it is today. The rapid growth of global economies and the corresponding sharp rise in the number of people now wanting to travel on business and for pleasure, has largely been responsible for the development of this industry. With a predicted rise in Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK) by over 150% in the next 20 years, the industry will correspondingly be a significant contributor to environmental emissions. Under such circumstances optimizing aircraft trajectories for lowered emissions will play a critical role amongst various other measures, in mitigating the probable environmental effects of increased air traffic. Aircraft trajectory optimization using evolutionary algorithms is a novel field and preliminary studies have indicated that a reduction in emissions is possible when set as objectives.
Technical Paper

Development of a Broad Delta Airframe and Propulsion Concepts for Reducing Aircraft Noise around Airports

2007-09-17
2007-01-3806
This paper describes the impact of noise on the civil aircraft design process. The challenge to design ‘silent’ aircraft is the development of efficient airframe-engine technologies, for which integration is essential to produce an optimum aircraft, otherwise penalties such as higher fuel consumption, and, or noise are a concern. A description of work completed by Cranfield University will cover design methodologies used for a Broad delta airframe concept, with reference to future studies into alternate concepts. Engine cycle designs for ultra-high bypass ratio, constant volume combustor, and recuperated propulsion cycles are described, with a discussion of integration challenges within the airframe.
Technical Paper

Flyaway Tooling for Higher Quality, More Cost-Effective, Aerostructure

1998-06-02
981843
Co-production of aircraft is resulting in demands for higher standards of manufacturing quality to ensure that parts and sub-assemblies from different companies and countries are compatible and interchangeable. As a result the existing method of building aerostructure using large numbers of dedicated manufacturing jigs and assembly tools, is now seen as being commercially undesirable, and technologically flawed. This paper considers an alternative, potentially more cost-effective, approach that embraces digital design, manufacturing, and inspection techniques, and in which reference and tooling features are incorporated into the geometry of the component parts. Within the aerospace industry this technology is known as ‘Flyaway Tooling’.
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