Will continue to support innovation by looking to natural systems for solutions to current challenges in aviation.
Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) President and CEO John Sankovic, Ph.D. and Great Lakes Biomimicry (GLB) Chairman and Founder Tom Tyrrell announce the merger of the two non-profit organizations. With this merger, OAI is positioned to further assist Ohio’s aerospace industry to be more competitive in the global market emphasizing value in sustainable solutions. Additionally, GLB will expand OAI’s education and innovation offerings.
Global aerospace companies are reducing greenhouse emissions as an imperative business function. Biomimicry, or learning from nature, makes 3.8 billion years of nature’s research and development available to companies searching for sustainable solutions.
“This merger comes at a time when the industry is looking for a recharge and a boost to excel in an evolving business climate,” Sankovic says. “Industry leadership dictates the trajectory towards sustainable solutions. GLB is a valuable asset to OAI’s forthcoming Industry Association and the aerospace industry on an international scale.”
Moving forward, OAI will work to present sustainable solutions to the Industry Association network and include this element in conferences and event presentations.
GLB, now as a wholly owned subsidiary of OAI, will support innovation by looking to natural systems for solutions to current challenges. GLB employees were retained by OAI during this merger.
The OAI is a nonprofit 501(c) (3), the first NASA associate collaborative institute chartered to foster relationships between industry, education, and work with government agencies. The organization has 32 years of experience in aerospace research, education, and workforce development, while building and managing collaborations, consortia, and public and private relationships. The organization will soon launch the Ohio Aerospace Industry Association, further connecting businesses, government, and academia to streamline and improve supply chain management.
GLB helps businesses learn from nature to accelerate sustainable innovation. Formed as a 501 (c) (3) in 2010, GLB has collaborated with several Northeast Ohio organizations and businesses to bring the wisdom of nature to help them solve problems.
Joby becomes first company to fly an electric aircraft as part of NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign.
Santa Cruz, California -- Joby Aviation, Inc. this week became the first company to fly an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft as part of NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign.
NASA’s AAM National Campaign is designed to promote public confidence in emerging aviation markets, such as passenger air taxis, through flight testing in realistic scenarios and data analysis that will inform the development of regulatory standards for emerging aviation platforms.
As part of the two-week test campaign at Joby’s Electric Flight Base near Big Sur, California, NASA and Joby will join forces to study the acoustic signature of the all-electric Joby aircraft, which the company intends to operate as part of a commercial passenger service beginning in 2024.
"NASA is proud to continue our relationship with Joby by gathering highly valuable aircraft safety and noise data that will contribute towards an aviation future that includes Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) operations," said Davis Hackenberg, NASA AAM mission integration manager. "Data from industry leaders like Joby is critical for NASA’s research activities and future standardization of emerging aircraft configurations. Industry partnerships are imperative for the United States to become a leader in the development of a safe and sustainable AAM ecosystem."
NASA engineers will deploy their Mobile Acoustics Facility and more than 50 pressure ground-plate microphones in a grid array that allows for multi-directional measurement of the Joby aircraft’s sound emissions. Using this data, NASA and Joby will generate noise hemispheres for the aircraft that capture the intensity and the character of the sound emitted in comparison to helicopters, drones, and other aircraft.
These readings, in combination with the noise profile of urban communities, can be used to verify how proposed aircraft operations will blend into the existing background noise. Joby has released several videos showcasing the quiet nature of the company’s aircraft during take-off, hover, and overhead flight.
“NASA has been a critical catalyst in the transition to electric aviation, and we’re proud to have partnered with them on multiple groundbreaking projects since our first collaboration in 2012,” said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO at Joby. “It’s incredibly exciting to be the first eVTOL company to fly as part of the AAM National Campaign, leading the way toward a more sustainable future.”
“From day one, we prioritized building an aircraft that not only has an extremely low noise profile, but blends seamlessly into the natural environment. We have always believed that a minimal acoustic footprint is key to making aviation a convenient part of everyday movement without compromising quality of life, and we’re excited to fly with NASA, our long-time partners in electric flight, to demonstrate the acoustic profile of our aircraft.”
Joby’s participation in the National Campaign marks the next step in a long history of collaboration between the two parties. Over the last decade, Joby has worked with NASA on a range of aircraft projects that have explored electric propulsion, including a long-endurance eVTOL demonstrator called Lotus, the Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology (LEAPTech) project, and the design of the X-57 Maxwell experimental aircraft now undergoing systems integration testing.
With a maximum range of 150 miles recently demonstrated during flight testing, and a top speed of 200 mph, Joby’s aircraft is designed to carry four passengers and a pilot with zero operating emissions. With more than 1,000 flight tests completed and full-scale prototypes in the air since 2017, Joby Aviation aims to certify its electric air taxi with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2023.
The aircraft is powered by six propellers that tilt to enable vertical takeoff and efficient cruise flight. The number of blades, blade radius, tip speeds, and disk loading of the aircraft were all selected to minimize the acoustic footprint and improve the character of the noise produced. The propellers can also individually adjust their tilt, rotational speed, and blade pitch, helping to avoid the blade vortex interactions that cause the “wop wop” sound we associate with traditional helicopters.
Once testing is complete, a team of acoustic experts from NASA and Joby will work together to analyze the data before sharing their findings later in the year.
A blog post detailing the history of Joby’s partnership with NASA was previously published on Joby’s company website.
Joby recently listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol JOBY following its successful business combination with Reinvent Technology Partners. Proceeds raised in the transaction plus cash on the company’s balance sheet as of March 31, 2021, equal approximately $1.6 billion, which is expected to fund Joby through initial commercial operations.
Palmdale, California facility incorporates smart manufacturing components.
Lockheed Martin has completed construction of an advanced manufacturing facility at its Palmdale, California, campus, and headquarters to the Skunk Works®.
The 215,000ft2 intelligent, flexible factory has digital foundations to incorporate smart manufacturing components, embrace the Internet of Things, and deliver cutting-edge solutions rapidly and affordably to support the United States and its allies. This is one of four transformational manufacturing facilities Lockheed Martin is opening in the U.S. this year.
The new building incorporates all three of Lockheed Martin's advanced production priorities: an intelligent factory framework; a technology enabled advanced manufacturing environment; and a flexible factory construct to support customer priorities with speed and agility while bolstering manufacturing capability in the United States.
"For more than 100 years, Lockheed Martin has been proud to call California home," said Jeff Babione, vice president and general manager, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. "Our partnership with the state has helped us remain competitive and has positioned us for long-term growth. The technology in our new Palmdale facility lets us go beyond manufacturing optimization to the next digital revolution, driving innovation and preserving California's leadership in the aerospace industry."
Merging the power of human and machine, manufacturing artisans will work with digital tools to execute operations with maximum efficiency. The incorporation of robotics, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality reduces the need for hard tooling, elevating the human experience to drive rapid innovation, a hallmark of the Skunk Works.
In addition to manufacturing, the facility includes office and break spaces to accommodate more than 450 employees. The company has created more than 1,500 new jobs for California since 2018.
This project is the cornerstone of over $400 million in capital investments being made across Lockheed Martin's Palmdale campus to address growth in support of its customers' missions.
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works is responsible for many aerospace firsts, including the United States' first jet fighter (P-80), the world's first stealth fighter (F-117), and the world's first 5th generation fighter (F-22). With a proven way of working based on 14 simple rules, the Skunk Works is known for rapidly solving urgent national needs. With eight Collier trophies and a National Medal of Technology and Innovation awarded from the office of the President of the United States, the Skunk Works continues to define what is next in aerospace.
Initial order makes the airline based in Leeds, United Kingdom, a new Airbus A320neo family operator.
Jet2.com has placed an initial order for 36 Airbus A321neos making the airline based in Leeds, United Kingdom, a new Airbus customer and a new Airbus A320neo family operator. The order reflects Jet2.com’s ambitious fleet expansion and renewal plans. Engine selection will be made later.
Philip Meeson, Jet2.com Executive Chairman said, “Jet2.com will be proud to operate the Airbus A321neo in the years ahead. This aircraft is, in our opinion, the most efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft in its class today – it will give our holiday customers a wonderfully comfortable and enjoyable experience as they travel with us for their well-deserved Jet2holiday.”
The aircraft will be configured for 232 seats with an Airspace cabin featuring innovative lighting, new seating products, and 60% larger overhead baggage bins for added personal storage.
“We very much welcome Jet2.com’s decision. Traditionally having been operating non fly-by-wire aircraft, we note with great satisfaction that after having tested a couple of leased A321s and run a comprehensive evaluation, Jet2.com is forward looking and investing in modern and future proof Airbus fly-by-wire technology. This is a testimony to Jet2.com’s vision of efficiency, quality, performance, and environmentally friendly flying,” said Christian Scherer, chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International.
The A320neo family incorporates the latest technologies, including new generation engines and Sharklets, for a 20% reduction in fuel consumption per seat. With an additional range of up to 500nm (900km) or 2t of extra payload, the A321neo will offer Jet2.com additional revenue potential.
At the end of July 2021, the A320neo family had won more than 7,400 firm orders from more than 120 customers worldwide.
Custom engineered, miniature rupture disk assemblies designed for low to high pressure and cycles are ideal for many aerospace applications.
To ensure safety and reliability, aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) depend on integrated, specific, rupture disk solutions for applications ranging from compressed gas cylinders to propulsion systems, aircraft wheels, environmental and fire protection equipment, and fuel storage systems. Rupture disks serve as an effective passive safety mechanism to protect against overpressure in many such aerospace applications. The disk, which is a one-time-use membrane made of various metals including exotic alloys, is designed to activate within milliseconds when a pre-determined differential pressure is achieved.
Aerospace equipment reliability is essential and demands high integrity from the pressure relief technology used to protect low- and high-pressure OEM systems. Instead of loose rupture disk and holder devices, OEMs are increasingly turning to integrated rupture disk assemblies with all components combined by the manufacturer. These assemblies are tailored to the application, miniaturized, and use a wide range of standard and exotic materials. This approach ensures the rupture disk device performs as expected, enhancing equipment safety, reliability, and longevity while simplifying installation and replacement.
The integrated assembly is also ideal for numerous hydraulic, pneumatic, and other low-, medium- and high-pressure applications including pumps, piston & bladder accumulators, propulsion systems, pressure vessels, and piping.
From satellites to aircraft to drones, tailoring integrated rupture disk applications for use with lightweight, compact materials such as titanium and aluminum are also important since it takes more energy to get heavier vehicles off the ground.
When tremendous corrosion resistance is required for aggressive fluid conditions, titanium is often the material of choice. Where light weight and economy are required, an aluminum welded assembly may be the right solution.
Separate components versus integrated assemblies Traditionally in aerospace, rupture disks begin as standalone components that are combined with the manufacturer's separate holder at the point of use. The installation actions of the user contribute significantly to the function of the rupture disk device. When installed improperly, the rupture disk may not burst at the expected set pressure. There is a delicate balance between the rupture disk membrane, its supporting holder, and the flanged, threaded, or other fastening arrangement used to locate the safety device on the protected equipment.
For this reason, an integrated rupture disk assembly is often a better choice than separable parts. Available ready-to-use and with no assembly required, integrated units are certified as a device to perform at the desired set pressure. The one-piece design allows for easier installation and quick removal if the rupture disk is activated.
The assembly includes the rupture disk and housing and is custom engineered to work with the user's desired interface to the pressurized equipment. The devices are typically threaded or flanged, or even configured for industry specific connections such as CF/KFVCR couplings. The rupture disk and holder are combined by the manufacturer by welding, bolting, tube stub, adhesive bonding, or crimping based on the application conditions and leak tightness requirements.
This approach has additional advantages. Integrated assemblies can be mistake-proofed by design to ensure correct direction of installation such as by use of a different screw thread configuration at the inlet and outlet of the device. The physical characteristics of increasingly miniaturized rupture disks as small as 1/8" can also make it challenging for personnel to pick up the disk and place it into a separate holder.
“Aerospace OEMs are driven to deliver the best performance while respecting the budget of their customers, says Geof Brazier, Managing Director of BS&B Safety Systems Custom Engineered Products Division. “The use of an integral assembly maximizes the quality assurance for the pressure relief technology by providing a ready to use component.”
Integrated assemblies - rupture disk design According to Brazier, the most important considerations in rupture disk device design for aerospace are having the right operating pressure and temperature information along with the dimensional constraints of the application. Service performance is sometimes expressed as the number of cycles the device is expected to endure during its lifetime. Since pressure and cycling varies depending on the application along with the space available and weight that is acceptable, each requires a custom engineered solution.
“Coming up with a good, high reliability, cost-effective, and application specific solution for an aerospace OEM involves selecting the right disk technology, the correct interface (weld, screw threads, compression fittings, single machined part), and the right options as dictated by the codes and standards or end-user validation requirements,” Brazier says.
Because user material selection can also be very specific to the application conditions, rupture disk device can be manufactured from metals and alloys such as stainless steel, nickel, aluminum, Monel, Inconel, titanium, columbium [niobium], and Hastelloy.
For aerospace applications, it can be important for rupture disks to have a miniaturized reverse buckling capability in both standard and exotic materials, Brazier notes.
In almost all cases, reverse-buckling rupture disks are used because they outperform the alternatives in accuracy and resistance to normal operating conditions.
In a reverse-buckling design, the rupture disk’s dome is inverted toward the pressure source. Burst pressure is accurately controlled by a combination of material properties and the shape of the domed structure. By loading the reverse-buckling disk in compression, it can resist operating pressures up to 95% of minimum burst pressure even under pressure-cycling or pulsating conditions. The result is greater longevity, accuracy, and reliability.
“The process industry has relied on reverse-buckling disks for decades. Now the technology is available to aerospace OEMs in miniature form as small as 1/8" burst diameter from BS&B. Until recently, obtaining disks of that size and performance was impossible,” Brazier says.
He adds that the benefits of such miniaturized, reverse-buckling disks include the lowest possible burst pressure ratings in small diameters, enabling low profile, light-weight design, superior performance in cycling service conditions, minimal or no fragmentation upon activation, and the ability to withstand full vacuum or back pressure without extra support components.
However, miniaturization of reverse-buckling technology presents its own unique challenges. To resolve this issue, BS&B created novel structures that control the reversal of the rupture disk to always activate predictably. In this type of design, a line of weakness is also typically placed into the rupture disk structure to define a specific opening flow area when the reverse-type disk activates and retains the disk petal within the assembly housing.
“Reverse buckling – and therefore having the material in compression – does a few things,” Brazier says. “Number one, repeatable structural integrity is achieved. Second, it allows you to obtain a lower burst pressure from thicker materials, which contributes to enhanced accuracy as well as durability.”
Small, nominal size rupture disks are sensitive to the detailed characteristics of the orifice through which they burst. This requires strict control of normal variations in the disk holder.
“With small size pressure relief devices, the influence of every feature of both the rupture disk and its holder is amplified,” Brazier explains. “With the correct design of the holder and the correct rupture disk selection, the customer’s expectations will be achieved and exceeded.”
Because customers are often accustomed to certain types of fittings to integrate into a piping scheme, different connections can be used on the housing. Threading is popular, but BS&B is increasingly using several other connection types to attach the rupture disk assembly to the application. Once the integral assembly leaves the factory, the set pressure is fixed, and the device is ready for use.
“If you rely on someone to put a loose disk in a system and then capture it by threading over the top of it, unless they follow the installation instructions and apply the correct torque value, there is still potential for a leak or the disk may not activate at the designed burst pressure,” Brazier warns. “When welded into an assembly, the rupture disk device is intrinsically leak tight and the set-burst pressure fixed.”
While aerospace OEMs have long relied on rupture disks in their compressed gas, hydraulic and pneumatic equipment, high and low pressure, high-cycling environments have been particularly challenging. Fortunately, with the availability of integrated, miniaturized rupture disk solutions tailored to the application in a variety of standard and exotic materials, aerospace OEMs can significantly enhance equipment safety, compliance, and reliability even in extreme work conditions.
About the author: Jeff Elliott is a Torrance, California-based technical writer who has researched and written about industrial technologies and issues for the past 15 years.