Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Why Bombardier's First CSeries Aircraft is Built Entirely of Wood

A life-size wooden mockup of Bombardier’s new CSeries A life-size wooden mockup of Bombardier’s new CSeries aircraft has been built at the company’s plant in Mirabel, Que., to help address production issues prior to the first aircraft being built. has been built at the company’s plant in Mirabel, Que., to help address production issues prior to the first aircraft being built.

The assembly of the first CSeries aircraft is well underway at Bombardier Inc.’s facility in Mirabel, Que. The new aircraft’s state-of-the-art design is on full display, demonstrating the aerodynamics of the plane from nose to tail, including the shape of its composite fuselage. Even its landing gear is there dangling from the plane.
But the most remarkable part of the new transcontinental aircraft is that it has been built entirely of plywood and pine.
Bombardier has been harnessing some of the most advanced simulation technologies available to help develop the CSeries, including the layout of its assembly plants.
The wooden aircraft perhaps best demonstrates the lengths the Montreal manufacturer is willing to go to ensure the new plane is delivered on time and on budget.
Simulations have done wonders in the CSeries’ design, and will play a major role in its certification process. For example, the company’s much-touted complete integrated aircraft systems test area [CIASTA] will allow the company to do a substantial portion of the aircraft’s flight testing virtually before the plane even takes to the sky.
Yet there are some things that simulations just can’t tell you, like whether a maintenance worker can easily fit the wrench he needs to use to adjust a bolt into a gearbox.
So Bombardier decided to build the wooden mockup in the same hanger it will assemble the first test aircraft.
And the company tasked 45 of its top engineers to find 1,000 design improvements on the aircraft before it goes into production. To date, they have identified a little over 600, the company says. 
Delays and cost overruns at rivals Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS in recent years destroyed the credibility off all major aircraft manufacturers, including Bombardier. But Mike Arcamone, Bombardier’s recently appointed president of commercial aircraft, said the company is trying to make the CSeries program the benchmark for new aircraft programs industry-wide.
Part of that new sense of optimism stems from several milestones laid out by management, including having the final test rigs delivered by the end of month before the integrated testing of its various systems, including its fly-by wire, avionics, and hydraulics, begins July 10.
The remaining structural components are expected to be delivered by the end of August, and the first static structure is on track to be built for testing by the end of September.
Source: Financial Post
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dana Air Plane Crash In Nigeria Kills 193

LatestA Dana Air plane from Nigeria's capital city Abuja crashed in a residential area in theLagos metropoliskilling the 153 people on board and 40 others living inside a two-storybuilding hit by the aircraftaccording to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
LAGOS - A passenger plane crashed into a densely populated part of LagosNigeria'scommercial hubon Sundaykilling all 147 people on boardthe airline said.
President Goodluck Jonathan declared three days of national mourning and ordered aninvestigation into the cause of the crash which jolted residents of LagosAgege suburb wheremost live in tin-roofed buildings along unpaved streets.
The McDonnell Douglas MD-83, operated by privately owned domestic carrier Dana Airwascoming into land on a flight from the capital Abuja when it hit the buildingnot far from Lagos'sMurtala Muhammed Airportat 2:44 pm (1344 GMTand burst into flamesaccording to theairline.
Among the dead was the spokesman for the Nigeria National Petroleum CorporationLeviAjuonumaaccording to a passenger list released by the airlineAjuonuma was also de factospokesman for the oil minister in OPEC member NigeriaAfrica's biggest crude producer.
Dana Air said it was still investigating what caused the crash.
"Plunged into sorrow"
"We heard a huge explosionand at first we thought it was a gas canister," said TimothyAkinyela, 50, a local newspaper reporter who was watching a soccer match on TV with friendsin a nearby bar.
"Then there were some more explosions afterwards and everyone ran outIt was terrifying.There was confusion and shouting," he saidshowing a video he had taken on his phone.
Smoke billowed from the windows and roof of the building that had somehow survived beingcompletely demolished by the crashLocals climbed on top of walls to try to look inBits of thetwisted metal were scattered on the muddy ground.    
"The President joins all Nigerians in mourning all those who lost their lives in the plane crashwhich has sadly plunged the nation into ... sorrow," a statement from Jonathan's office said.  
"President Jonathan assures air travellers in the country that every possible effort will be madeto ensure that the right lessons are learnt ... and that further measures will be put in place toboost aviation safety in the country."
Air crashes are not uncommon in NigeriaAfrica's second biggest economywhich has had apoor airliner safety recordalthough it has improved in the past few years.
Dana Air operates flights to cities around Nigeria out of Murtala Muhammed Airport.

Source: China Daily

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