After many years of flat-lining in the supply of new commercial jet engines—with improved models, but with designs dating back to the late 1990s, relying on a continuous path of evolutionary development—a new generation of super-efficient powerplants is entering service, introducing many technologies that will also be applied to future engines.
Aerion and Skunk Works are already collaborating on the engineering of the AS2, while GE will be adapting one of its proven cores with a new low-pressure turbine to be fuel efficient at both subsonic and supersonic flight.
One of the most significant developments in aircraft control since the wing warping of the Wright Brothers made way for movable control surfaces has been announced by Manchester University in the U.K., in association with BAE Systems.
Many of Indaero’s products require in-house tools for assembly. One of those products (for Airbus supplier Aernnova) is the NH90 helicopter. Before acquiring additive capabilities, the company was limited to producing flat shapes with traditional methods, which affected the performance of the final tool during production.
Turbine blades in TiAl are about half the weight of comparable nickel-alloy components but boast the same reliability and durability. The high aluminum content also makes the material resistant to oxidation and corrosion.
Aurora Flight Sciences demonstrated DARPA's ALIAS automated flight technology in a Boeing 737 simulator. ALIAS showcased its ability to utilize the existing 737 auto-landing system to autonomously land the aircraft safely in the event of pilot incapacitation.
TRB Lightweight Structures recently released an aerospace-grade lightweight honeycomb composite panel designed for interior applications, expanding the application areas for its range of composite flat panels. Recent investments for manufacturing composites include the procurement of a new 3- x 1.5-m autoclave system.
Technologies considered necessary for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to safely avoid other aircraft while moving through airspace recently were put to the test using NASA's remotely piloted Ikhana aircraft.