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Technical Paper

“Fuel Flow Method2” for Estimating Aircraft Emissions

In recent years there has been increasing interest in quantifying the emissions from aircraft in order to generate inventories of emissions for climate models, technology and scenario studies, and inventories of emissions for airline fleets typically presented in environmental reports. The preferred method for calculating aircraft engine emissions of NOx, HC, and CO is the proprietary “P3T3” method. This method relies on proprietary airplane and engine performance models along with proprietary engine emissions characterizations. In response and in order to provide a transparent method for calculating aircraft engine emissions non proprietary fuel flow based methods 1,2,3 have been developed. This paper presents derivation, updates, and clarifications of the fuel flow method methodology known as “Fuel Flow Method 2”.
Technical Paper

Vision System Non Contact Measurement of Pintail Type Fasteners

Accurately measuring the length of a pintail type fastener is limited by the process of forming the fastener. When the pintail is formed its overall length is not dimensionally controlled. To accurately measure the grip of the bolt a vision system is utilized that finds the notch between the tail and bolt shank. The grip, diameter, and angle of the bolt prior to insertion are then measured. This method proves to be more accurate than measuring the bolt mechanically and provides a number of other advantages including; decreased measurement time, improved accuracy, FOD detection, and angle of the bolt in the fingers prior to insertion.

Vertical Picture-Frame Wing Jig Structure Design with an Eye to Foundation Loading

The foundation of many production aircraft assembly facilities is a more dynamic and unpredictable quantity than we would sometimes care to admit. Any tooling structures constructed on these floors, no matter how thoroughly analyzed or well understood, are at the mercy of settling and shifting concrete, which can cause very lengthy and costly periodic re-certification and adjustment procedures. It is with this in mind, then, that we explore the design possibilities for one such structure to be built in Belfast, North Ireland for the assembly of the Shorts C-Series aircraft wings. We evaluate the peak floor pressure, weight, gravity deflection, drilling deflection, and thermal deflection of four promising structures and discover that carefully designed pivot points and tension members can offer significant benefits in some areas.
Journal Article

Utilization of a Vision System to Automate Mobile Machine Tools

In an attempt to be more flexible and cost effective, Aerospace Manufacturers have increasingly chosen to adapt a manufacturing style which borrows heavily from the Automotive industry. To facilitate this change in methodologies a system for locating robots has been developed which utilizes cameras for both locating and guidance of a mobile platform for a robot with drilling and fastening end effector.
Technical Paper

Use of Synchronized Parallel Grippers in Fastener Injection Systems

A new style of rivet injector is in production use on a variety of fastening machines used by major aircraft manufacturers. In this injector the opposing sides of the rivet guide blocks are attached to the arms of a parallel gripper. We have implemented the parallel gripper in both vertical axis and horizontal axis riveting applications. It is equally effective in both orientations. We have implemented the parallel gripper rivet injector on headed rivets, threaded bolts, ribbed swage bolts and unheaded (slug) rivets.
Technical Paper

Use of Electromagnetic and Vacuum Forces on Aircraft Assembly

Decades ago our innovative grandfathers developed the first automated riveting machines based on hard automation using kinematics and tools attached to a C-frame. The C-frame serves multiple functions: First, it holds the upper and lower tools in fixed positions relative to each other; second, it translates upper active tooling forces to the lower tool; and third, it embraces the part placed between the upper and lower tool. C-frames and newly developed yoke, ring and gantry machines, used for low level (first, second) fuselage and wing assembly are growing in size to exorbitant proportions to satisfy requirements of larger and larger structures. High costs are dictated by massive kinematics and complex controls that provide stability, precision, and process speed. All this is mainly needed because we have to carry mechanical forces around the part, from upper to lower tool along the C-frame, gantry, yoke, bridge, etc.
Technical Paper

Unique Material Handling and Automated Metrology Systems Provides Backbone of Accurate Final Assembly Line for Business Jet

Figure 1 Global 7000 Business Jet. Photo credit: Robert Backus. The customer’s assembly philosophy demanded a fully integrated flexible pulse line for their Final Assembly Line (FAL) to assemble their new business jets. Major challenges included devising a new material handling system, developing capable positioners and achieving accurate joins while accommodating two different aircraft variants (requiring a “flexible” system). An additional requirement was that the system be easily relocated to allow for future growth and reorganization. Crane based material handling presents certain collision and handover risks, and also present a logistics challenge as cranes can become overworked. Automated guided vehicles can be used to move large parts such as wings, but the resulting sweep path becomes a major operational limitation. The customer did not like the trade-offs for either of these approaches.
Technical Paper

Traceable Part Batching Performance Modeling: A Simulation Case Study

This paper addresses a simulation modeling case study of a batching process. The batching process exists in a multi-server, multi-queue aircraft component manufacturing system where all parts and batches are serial numbered for traceability. Every lot of parts requires a unique set of serial numbers and the sequence of batches is required to follow the airplane master production schedule. The study goal was to identify and provide solutions to shorten arrival time differences among parts going to the same batch in a system of more than 100 shared processes. Queue lengths, resource utilization, bottlenecks, and various scenario comparisons were yielded from simulation modeling exercises.
Technical Paper

The Boeing 777-300/PW4098 Flying Test-Bed Program

The 98,000 lb. thrust Pratt & Whitney PW4098 high-bypass turbofan engine recently completed a flying test-bed program on the Boeing 777-300 airplane. The purpose of the one-month program was to validate engine operability and to gather data that can be used for upcoming engine certification to the standards of Federal Aviation Regulations part 33. Testing included engine transient operation, steady-state performance, in-flight starting, component cooling, and inlet compatibility. When engine certification is complete, an airplane certification program will be conducted for the 777-300/PW4098, a combination of the world's largest twin engine airplane and the world's largest turbofan engine yet to fly.
Technical Paper

The Automated NC Mini-Driller

The introduction of a new derivative to an existing aircraft model poses many decisions regarding old versus new. In the case of the introduction of the extended range 767 (the 767-400ER), an entirely new wing design prompted the examination of the then current assembly processes and tooling. The hesitation to build new drill templates for use in the traditional method of second stage wing spar assembly inspired Tool Engineering Management to request the investigation of a low cost automated drilling apparatus. As a result, the Boeing Automated Tools Group and Advanced Integration Technology, Inc. (AIT) developed and implemented mobile numerically controlled mini-drilling machines for post-ASAT I assembly-drilling operations.
Journal Article

The 747-400 Dreamlifter - Swing Tail Door Alignment and Latch Mechanism

One essential feature of the 787 production system is the 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter (LCF), also known as the Dreamlifter,[1] and its ability to quickly and efficiently transport large components from global manufacturing locations to the final assembly site in Everett, Washington. This unique airplane has a tail section (Swing Tail) that opens to allow cargo loading. Quickly loading and unloading cargo is largely dependent on the reliable operation of the integral swing tail door alignment and latching systems. The swing tail door is approximately 23 feet horizontally by 29 feet vertically in size. The alignment and latching systems are required to function in a wide range of environmental conditions including temperature extremes and high winds. At the same time, these systems must ensure that flight loads are safely transmitted from the tail to the airplane fuselage without inducing undue fuselage preloads and without excessive play in the latching system.
Journal Article

System for Recirculation of Mobile Tooling

Aircraft assembly systems which require tooling or machinery to pulse or move between multiple positions within a factory can be positioned with high repeatability without high performance foundations or sweeping out large areas of floorspace. An example shows a system of large left and right-hand frames which are positioned at 3 sequential manufacturing steps and then recirculated to the start of production via a central return aisle. The frames are 41 ton actual weight and are 72′ long, similar to a rail car. The system achieves rectangular motion for the recirculation path. The supporting and moving system incorporates low-cost rail in a floor with minimal preparation and simple to use controls. The system is also easily reconfigured if the manufacturing system needs to be altered to meet rate or flow requirements.
Technical Paper

Slug Rivet Machine Installs 16 Rivets Per Minute Drill-Rivet-Shave

Electroimpact has designed the E6000, the next generation riveting machine, with a focus on reduced weight and speed. It will initially be used on ARJ21 wing panels in Xi'an, China, but it is able to fasten a variety of panels including A320 and 737. The E6000's fastening cycle is capable of forming and shaving 16 rivets per minute. Head alignment is maintained by two independent four axis heads using a combination of controls and kinematics. Process tool speed has been improved via high lead screws, high speed Fanuc motors, and a shorter head stone drop. An innovative EI operator interface enhances end user experience.
Technical Paper

Simulation Enhanced Work Instructions for Aircraft Assemblies

The Boeing Company is developing and implementing the tools for the 21st Century for product development with their Design Manufacturing and Producibility Simulation (DMAPS) program. DMAPS combines the best of people, hardware and software tools commercially available to develop product and process simulation applications. The DMAPS toolset enhances the process of preparing concept layouts, assembly layouts and build-to-packages. Comprised of an Integrated Product and Process Team (IPPT), DMAPS produces products faster and with higher quality. The result is a process that eliminates costly changes and rework, and provides all IPPT's the tools and training necessary to perform their tasks right the first time. Boeing applies DMAPS tools to a variety of existing and new programs to build more affordable products. Savings goals set forth by the program are shown in Figure 1.
Technical Paper

Sharklet Brings New Technology to Electroimpact E4000 LVER Machine

Electroimpact's E4000 LVER riveting machine entered service in 1998 assembling A320/A321 upper wing panels at the Airbus wing manufacturing facility in Broughton, Wales. Airbus's recent introduction of the Sharklet modification to the wings of the A320 family of aircraft necessitated a number of changes to the machine and fixture to accommodate the revised wing geometry. Electroimpact and Airbus also worked together to identify a wide range of machine improvements and updates. A short list of the changes made to the machine includes a new CNC, new motors, scales, spindles, and new technologies such as laser tracers and normality sensors. The end result is a faster, more accurate machine with state-of-the-art controls ready to support Airbus's A320/321 wing panel assembly for the next 15 years.
Journal Article

Self-Configuring Hybrid Duct System and Attachment Technologies for Environmental Control Systems

Environmental Control Systems (ECS) ducts on airplanes are primarily fabricated from aluminum or thermoset composites, depending on temperature and pressure requirements. It is imperative to fabricate lightweight, cost effective, durable, and repairable systems with minimal tooling. It is also important that the duct systems are easy to assemble even with alignment issues resulting from structural variations, tolerance accumulation, variation from thermal expansion of different materials, and inherent duct stiffness. These requirements create an opportunity and need for a technology that can address all of these issues, while increasing performance at the same time. This report provides a background on current ECS ducting systems.
Technical Paper

Selection of an Alternate Biocide for the International Space Station Internal Active Thermal Control System Coolant Loops

The International Space Station (ISS) IATCS (Internal Active Thermal Control System) includes two internal coolant loops that use an aqueous based coolant for heat transfer. A silver salt biocide was used initially as an additive in the coolant formulation to control the growth and proliferation of microorganisms in the coolant loops. Ground-based and in-flight testing has demonstrated that the silver salt is rapidly depleted and not effective as a long-term biocide. Efforts are now underway to select an alternate biocide for the IATCS coolant loop with greatly improved performance. An extensive evaluation of biocides was conducted to select several candidates for test trials.
Technical Paper

Selection of an Alternate Biocide for the ISS Internal Thermal Control System Coolant - Phase II

The ISS (International Space Station) ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) includes two internal coolant loops that utilize an aqueous based coolant for heat transfer. A silver salt biocide had previously been utilized as an additive in the coolant formulation to control the growth and proliferation of microorganisms within the coolant loops. Ground-based and in-flight testing demonstrated that the silver salt was rapidly depleted, and did not act as an effective long-term biocide. Efforts to select an optimal alternate biocide for the ITCS coolant application have been underway and are now in the final stages. An extensive evaluation of biocides was conducted to down-select to several candidates for test trials and was reported on previously.
Journal Article

Role of Power Distribution System Tests in Final Assembly of a Military Derivative Airplane

Boeing has contracts for military application of twin engine airplanes generically identified in this paper as the MX airplane. Unlike previous derivatives, the MX airplanes are produced with a streamlined manufacturing process to improve cost and schedule performance. The final assembly of each MX airplane includes a series of integration tests, called factory functional tests (FFTs), which are modified from those of typical commercial versions and verify correctness of equipment installation and basic functionalities. Two airplanes have been through the production line resulting in a number of FFT lessons learned. Addressed are the power distribution lessons learned: 1) the expanded coverage of the basic automated power-on generation system test, 2) the need for a manual wire continuity test, 3) salient features of the power distribution tests, and 4) keys to make first pass power distribution test smooth and successful.
Technical Paper

Riveting Thin A320 Stacks

The E7000 riveting machine installs NAS1097KE5-5.5 rivets into A320 Section 18 fuselage side panels. For the thinnest stacks where the panel skin is under 2mm (2024) and the stringer is under 2mm (7075), the normal process of riveting will cause deformation of the panel or dimpling. The authors found a solution to this problem by forming the rivet with the upper pressure foot extended, and it has been tested and approved for production.