A new portable floor drilling machine, the 767AFDE, has been designed with a focus on increased reach and speed, ease-of-use, and minimal weight. A 13-foot wide drilling span allows consolidation of 767 section 45 floor drilling into a single swath. A custom CNC interface simplifies machine operations and troubleshooting. Four servo-driven, air-cooled spindles allow high rate drilling through titanium and aluminum. An aluminum space frame optimized for high stiffness/weight ratio allows high speed operation while minimizing aircraft floor deflection. Bridge track tooling interfaces between the machine and the aircraft grid. A vacuum system, offline calibration plate, and transportation dolly complete the cell.
New and derivative commercial jetliner programs face increased pressure to reduce cost, shorten development cycles, increase production rates, and create an increasingly fuel efficient aircraft. The industry also has limited engineering resources and suppliers with manufacturing capacity constraints. Designing parts right the first time, while concurrently taking into account available and proven manufacturing techniques, is crucial to meeting product development schedule and profitability goals. New, knowledge-based software solutions bridge the gap between design, manufacturing, and the supply chain, assuring timely, cost effective, and correctly manufactured products. Boeing Commercial Airplanes used a unique knowledge-based software solution to analyze one of the most complicated jetliner parts: the titanium part joining the wing to the aircraft body.
Recent work has shown that when an aircraft encounters ambient ice-supersaturated conditions (where contrails may form and persist), it may be possible to avoid contrail formation by shifting cruise altitude up or down 2000 feet. If an aircraft's cruise altitude is shifted from the optimal profile during a portion of the mission, fuel consumption increases. Because on average approximately 20% of distance flown by commercial airliners is through ice-supersaturated regions, this study quantifies the fuel burn penalties for the notional scenario of flying the same fraction of cruise at altitude displacements of +2000, -2000, and -4000 ft. Present aircraft performance data was used to generate accurate fuel burn penalty estimates. This study finds that the net penalties for existing aircraft to fly contrail avoidance shifts vary between 0.2% and 0.7% increase in block fuel consumption.
This paper discusses the process development and implementation of an Electric Boring process for boring the Frame Lug for the Main Landing Gear (MLG) Swing Link bushing on the 777 Airplane. Due to the process reliability issues associated with the equipment traditionally used for this process, primarily air driven right angle motors, a boring process using electric motors was developed and implemented for this application. The process development focused on equipment selection based on horsepower/torque requirements, laboratory testing for cutting parameters and bore quality generation, equipment reliability testing under operational loads and process efficiency validation. The implementation programme involved the detail design and fabrication of protective enclosure (explosion proof) hardware to prevent the electric motor and its connections from being contaminated by various fluids used in processes in the vicinity of this application.
Determinant Spar Assembly Cell (DSAC) has been developed by Boeing to help reduce the cost of building commercial airplanes. This revolutionary system uses a state of the art 5 axis NC machine in conjunction with quick-change multi-function end effectors and a reconfigurable fixture, to provide the capability to assemble any Boeing heritage commercial airplane spar. This paper describes the high level aspects of this unique system.
Historically the manufacturing of aircraft fuselages with capacities of 100+ passengers requires large panels and assemblies to be integrated through processes of manipulating them into proper alignment to one another, and then fastening the panels and assemblies together. The manipulating and alignment processes typically incorporate large handling devices and cranes to move the large panels and monolithic tools or measurement alignment systems to precisely align the aircraft components. After the individual panels and assemblies are properly aligned, they can be fastened together. Normally, the fastening process is performed manually with the aid of fastener location templates. There are problems with these processes. They require high capital investments for tooling and facilities; up to two shifts (16 hours) to complete the loading, indexing, and fastening operations; and depend on a highly skilled and knowledgeable work force to minimize discrepancies.
Process development work was conducted to develop a machined fuselage frame concept for a small (5 abreast) commercial airplane. To minimize detail fabrication cost and to facilitate lean manufacturing, roll forming was identified as the preferred forming process. To reduce assembly costs, long frame segments were desired to minimize the number of frame splices. Since plate stock is limited to lengths of approximately 3.66 meters (12 feet), formed aluminum extrusions were selected as the raw material form. Roll forming and stretch forming process paths were screened for both J section and rectangular bar extrusions. The post machining distortion produced in formed extrusion and plate hog-out frame segments was compared to each other and to process standards governing allowable fit-up forces. As a result of this process development activity, a producible roll forming process path was developed.
Fault-tolerance in commercial aircraft applications is typically achieved by redundancy. In such redundant systems the primary component is checked before the start of a flight to see if it operates correctly. The aircraft will not take off unless the primary is functioning. Airplane manufacturers must certify the airplane systems to be safe for flight. One means of safety certification is by safety analysis which shows that the probability of failure in a typical flight is bounded. The probability bound requirement for a system is based on the criticality of system failure. Usually backup components are checked at intervals that span multiple flights. The first backup may be checked more frequently than the second or higher levels. This leads to flights where the system may have latent faults in the backup components. The probability of failure in such cases varies from flight to flight due to the different exposure times for components in the system.
In the last several years, the aviation industry has improved its understanding of jet engine events related to the ingestion of ice crystal particles. Ice crystal icing has caused powerloss and compressor damage events (henceforth referred to as “engine events”) during flights of large transport aircraft, commuter aircraft and business jets. A database has been created at Boeing to aid in analysis and study of these engine events. This paper will examine trends in the engine event database to better understand the weather which is associated with events. The event database will be evaluated for a number of criteria, such as the global location of the event, at what time of day the event occurred, in what season the event occurred, and whether there were local meteorological influences at play. A large proportion of the engine events occur in tropical convection over the ocean.
Developing the most advanced wing panel assembly line for very high production rates required an innovative and integrated solution, relying on the latest technologies in the industry. Looking back at over five decades of commercial aircraft assembly, a clear and singular vision of a fully integrated solution was defined for the new panel production line. The execution was to be focused on co-developing the automation, tooling, material handling and facilities while limiting the number of parties involved. Using the latest technologies in all these areas also required a development plan, which included pre-qualification at all stages of the system development. Planning this large scale project included goals not only for the final solution but for the development and implementation stages as well. The results: Design/build philosophy reduced project time and the number of teams involved. This allowed for easier communication and extended development time well into the project.
In the last several years, technical advances and regulatory pressures have motivated the need for flexible, simple, and performance-based solutions for conducting development assurance in support of a system safety assessment process. Additionally, the affected design space for commercial vehicles has been growing beyond the conventional regulations for airplanes, rotorcraft, engines, and propellers, addressed by current Aerospace Recommended Practices (ARPs). This space is beginning to include commercial technologies such as unmanned aerial systems, multi-stage spacecraft systems, and road-able aircraft. These developing areas are each accompanied with their own development assurance expectations in support of their safety criteria. Concurrently, the industry and regulators are working to simplify guidance for system safety and development assurance, which has been foundational in the aircraft industry for decades.
Aircraft thermal management (ATM) is increasingly important to the design and operation of commercial and military aircraft due to rising heat loads from expanded electronic functionality, electric systems architectures, and the greater temperature sensitivity of composite materials compared to metallic structures. It also impacts engine fuel consumption associated with removing waste heat from an aircraft. More recently the advent of more electric architectures on aircraft, such as the Boeing 787, has led to increased interest in the development of more efficient ATM architectures by the commercial airplane manufacturers. The ten papers contained in this book describe aircraft thermal management system architectures designed to minimize airplane performance impacts which could be applied to commercial or military aircraft.
The simultaneous operation of all systems generating, moving, or removing heat on an aircraft is simulated using integrated analysis which is called Integrated Energy System Analysis (IESA) for this book. Its purpose is to understand, optimize, and validate more efficient system architectures for removing or harvesting the increasing amounts of waste heat generated in commercial and military aircraft. In the commercial aircraft industry IESA is driven by the desire to minimize airplane operating costs associated with increased system weight, power consumption, drag, and lost revenue as cargo space is devoted to expanded cooling systems. In military aircraft thermal IESA is also considered to be a key enabler for the successful implementation of the next generation jet fighter weapons systems and countermeasures. This book contains a selection of papers relevant to aircraft thermal management IESA published by SAE International.