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Can Your Industrial Workbenches Meet Aviation Requirements?

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles Here at the AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations Conference in Los Angeles we’ve been absorbing the industry buzz and looking for new applications for our modular technical furniture and industrial workbenches.

 

airliner in the sky

 

What Do You Think Will be the Breakout Aviation Stories in 2014?

What are the hot topics for the aviation industry during the coming year? Here are three suggestions we put forward at the beginning of the conference:

 

1) Sustainable, Environmentally-friendly Aviation Technology Ramps Up

Not content with being the first to circumnavigate the world in a balloon, Bertrand Piccard, along with his Swiss businessman partner André Borschberg, set a world-record earlier this year in their Solar Impulse — the first solar plane to fly from San Francisco to New York. The plane has a 200 foot wide wing covered with over 12,000 solar cells powering on-board batteries that enable night flight. But until solar/electric battery technology (or some other breakthrough) can carry passengers across the globe, researchers are investigating ways to make aviation fuel more sustainable and environmentally friendly. In the last 12 months, AeroMexico, Thomson Airways and United have conducted commercial demonstration flights using bio-fuels derived from jatropha, cooking oil and algae respectively.

 

2) Drones are the Future of Commercial Aircraft Flight

Developments in military drone technology are moving very quickly. The launch of a Northrop Grumman X-47B this past May from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush was impressive, but even more impressive was the same X-47B performing a cable arrested carrier landing in July. What role will drones play in commercial flight? The advent of driverless cars promoted by Google and other tech companies on the ground is one thing, but will we soon see remote piloting of commercial aircraft in our skies? Would passengers willingly fly without a captain seated in the pointy end of the aircraft? The public’s opinion toward civilian drone technology could be irreparably harmed if there were a cyber attack on a drone fleet, which brings us to suggestion three…

 

3) Cybersecurity Risks to Aviation Communication Infrastructure

The risk of cyber attacks was on our mind as we arrived at the AAIA conference. Just before we left Austin, students at the University of Texas demonstrated they successfully spoofed a GPS signal causing an $80 million yacht to go off course in the Mediterranean. While this was done with the knowledge and permission of the yacht’s owner, it was a wake-up call to security and networking systems analysts in the AIAA community to act decisively to prevent cyber attacks from interfering with aviation navigation and communication systems.

 

Cybersecurity image by Money Inc

Image by Money Inc

 

And the Winner at the AIAA Aviation 2013 Conference was… Aviation Cybersecurity!

The big news here at the conference was yesterday’s release of AIAA’s decision paper “A Framework for Aviation Cybersecurity”, which outlines the AIAA’s recommendations to protect the world’s $2.3 trillion dollar commercial aviation business — equivalent to 3.5% of global GDP. The core recommendations are:

  • Apply a common set of cybersecurity standards across the world
  • Ensure a cybersecurity culture
  • Understand the threats and risks and provide a timely response
  • Strengthen the defensive systems
  • Define design, operational, R&D requirements
  • Get government and industry working together

In our view, the good news from AIAA’s sobering set of recommendations is the worldwide aviation community has successfully overcome past challenges in communications, technology infrastructure and safety culture to make commercial aviation the safest form of transport in the world. We are confident that international organizations like the AIAA, aviation industry leaders, and international governments can come together to develop a coordinated response model to manage cybersecurity threats as well.

 

Interested in More Aerospace Technology?

The AIAA SPACE 2013 Conference & Exposition will be held next month from September 10th through 12th at the San Diego Convention Center. And, as always, whether you are at a research lab, an aviation/aerospace manufacturing facility or at an MRO facility, be sure to contact us here at Formaspace if you are looking for modern technical furniture, including industrial workbenches and professional computer workstations.

 

Undermount Pull Out Shelves on Formaspace Benchmarx

Undermount Pull Out Shelves on Formaspace Benchmarx

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Formaspace Attended AIAA 2013 Conference to Showcase Custom Industrial Workbench

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve talked about laboratory design experts at the AACC conference in Houston, sustainable business practices of green certified LEED buildings, food safety testing at the newly expanded Department of Defense FADL facility in San Antonio, Texas and why it’s revolutionary to buy American-made products, like Formaspace’s line of industrial workbench technical furniture.

 

AIAA Aviation

 

2013 AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations Conference

This week we’re getting ready to travel to one of our favorite conferences of the year, the AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations Conference, which kicks off this coming Monday, August 12th in Los Angeles. Why aerospace? Well, as it turns out when it comes to high technology we’re huge fanboys (and fangirls too.) And this goes double for military and commercial aircraft, space and satellite technology and advanced communication systems. Don’t believe us? Well, this will give you some idea of our interest level: you may not know it, but Jeff Turk, Formaspace’s president, is an avid licensed helicopter pilot. If you haven’t seen Jeff land a helicopter on some of Formaspace’s heavy-duty industrial workbenches, you need to check out this video.

Of course, we are also interested in any field that contains so many Formaspace customers. Our benches are tailor-made for this industry (in more ways than one) due to their incredible durability and modularity. As jet designs have evolved, so have our workbenches to meet their design and maintenance needs. This year’s conference promises to be even bigger as the sponsoring organization, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) premieres an even larger umbrella conference they are calling AIAA AVIATION 2013.

 

Undermount Pull Out Shelves on Formaspace Benchmarx

Undermount Pull Out Shelves on Formaspace Benchmarx

 

New Jet Designs Move Beyond 1950’s and 1960’s Technology

It’s an exciting time in commercial aviation. Not since the 1950’s and 1960’s have we seen so many clean sheet designs coming into the market. In the business jet category, Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace introduced their revolutionary long range (7,000 nm) Mach .9 Gulfstream G650 with its spacious interior — thanks to a unique oval fuselage cross-section. Gulfstream is a Formaspace technical furniture customer, purchasing workbenches since 2006. But the wide-body commercial jet category has captured the most media attention.

Boeing, also a Formaspace customer, launched its 787 Dreamliner into service in late 2011. This revolutionary airframe features advanced composite material wings, empennage and fuselage – the latter constructed by a patent-pending process of wrapping carbon fibers around a mandrel to form full-sized barrel sections, which are connected together to form the fuselage. Airbus’ response to the 787 is the A350 XWB. This aircraft is still under development; its first test flight was in June and shortly afterwords it made its first public display during a flyover at the Paris Air Show. The A350’s delayed entry to the marketplace — once seen as a disadvantage — appears to offer Airbus an opportunity to take advantage of lessons learned from Boeing’s 787 rollout. The two airframes, while both employing carbon fibre-reinforced polymer, employ markedly different design philosophies. Unlike Boeing’s carbon-fibre barrels, the Airbus model uses composite panels fitted to traditional aluminum rib structure. It also uses a more conventional bleed-air system rather than the all electric power architecture of Boeing’s 787.

Boeing, also a Formaspace customer, launched its 787 Dreamliner into service in late 2011. This revolutionary airframe features advanced composite material wings, empennage and fuselage – the latter constructed by a patent-pending process of wrapping carbon fibers around a mandrel to form full-sized barrel sections, which are connected together to form the fuselage. Airbus’ response to the 787 is the A350 XWB. This aircraft is still under development; its first test flight was in June and shortly afterwords it made its first public display during a flyover at the Paris Air Show.

The A350’s delayed entry to the marketplace — once seen as a disadvantage — appears to offer Airbus an opportunity to take advantage of lessons learned from Boeing’s 787 rollout. The two airframes, while both employing carbon fibre-reinforced polymer, employ markedly different design philosophies. Unlike Boeing’s carbon-fibre barrels, the Airbus model uses composite panels fitted to traditional aluminum rib structure. It also uses a more conventional bleed-air system rather than the all electric power architecture of Boeing’s 787.

 

Have a great ATIO / AVIATION 2103 Conference!

ATIO / AVIATION 2013 starts this Monday, August 12th at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles and it looks to be an exciting event. Contact us if you’d like to meet up at the conference or if you have any questions about our industrial workbenches, built tough enough for aerospace applications.

 

9ft heavy duty workstation with casters

9 ft Heavy Duty Mobile Basix™ Workbench

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