Posts with tag: ‘aerospace’

Even Elon can’t get us to Mars

Mars has long been and continues to be a frustratingly elusive dream for many an aerospace engineer, wannabe astronaut, or die hard Total Recall fan alike. It’s a subject many people including myself are deeply passionate about. And despite the nearly 50 years of technological progress since the Moon landing, we are arguably still rather ill-prepared to reach the Red Planet. That’s precisely why watching Elon’s recent Mars reveal in front of the International Astronautical Congress felt like an exasperatingly tragic lost opportunity. Perhaps about as aggravating as Arnold getting blown out of an action set piece to asphyxiate in a red wasteland, albeit without the insta-terraforming plot device to conveniently save the day.

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3D printing adoption in aerospace

A great deal of new research and application development for the full spectrum of 3D printing technologies continues apace across the aerospace industry. Despite the simplicity of the umbrella term, this is a vast and diverse global industry that encompasses commercial aircraft, satellites, military, and defence aerial vehicles (planes/helicopters/drones), rockets and space vehicles, and, of course, applications for and on the international space station (ISS).

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Project spotlight: Hybrid Air Vehicles

Founded in 2007, Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company behind the innovative Airlander range of hybrid aircraft. They utilise new aerospace technology that combines the best characteristics of fixed wing aircraft with helicopters and "lighter-than-air" technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft, with a significantly lower carbon footprint and operating cost than other forms of air transport. The Airlander 10 is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time to fulfill a wide range of communication and survey roles, as well as cargo carrying and tourist passenger flights.

I talked to Mike Durham, Technical Director, about their vehicle and the development process.

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NASA Challenge seeks fresh ideas for the ISS

GrabCAD is incredibly proud to host the Handrail Clamp Assembly Challenge with NASA. NASA has been investigating 3D printing technology in space for some time now and this Challenge is another great milestone. GrabCADrs are invited to submit fresh 3d printable handrail clamp ideas for the International Space Station (ISS). I asked Niki Werkheiser, In-space Manufacturing Project Manager at NASA to reveal a bit more about the the background of this Challenge.

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Meet the manager of engineering labs at Bell Helicopter

Ever since I was a little boy I have been interested in helicopters - one of the most complex and intriguing flying vehicles. In my opinion, developing a reliable and safe rotorcraft is on the leading edge of engineering. Naturally, I was very excited when Randall Willnow, Manager of Engineering Labs, Materials and Processes at Bell Helicopter agreed to answer a few questions. I could talk about their aircraft forever, but for brevity's sake I stuck to more high-level questions.

Bell Helicopter is a division of Textron and an American rotorcraft manufacturer headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. The company was founded in 1935 and has delivered more than 35,000 aircraft to date.

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