IMMEDIATE BOARDING FOR THE AERONAUTICS OF THE FUTURE
Special Aeronautics, in Partnership with AeroExpo. Fully embracing Industry 4.0 is vital to the aerospace industry. That means accepting a cultural change as well as investing in technology.
Paris Air Show 2017.One of this year’s themes is more evident inside the exhibition halls than on the tarmac. We’re talking about virtual reality. Emerging from the world of gaming, VR has found a ready welcome in the aircraft industry.
Formula 1. Parts for cars, planes, boats and now F1 racing cars can be 3D printed, even trackside. DirectIndustry e-magazine met the McLaren F1 team in their London headquarters.
Sensors Expo. Read our coverage of the fair dedicated to sensors and sensor-integrated systems that takes place in San Jose, California.
Summer Reading. How will the world be in 2038? In her prospective essay, Virginie Raisson questions today’s technological revolution, from Hyperloop to Blockchain.
Fully embracing Industry 4.0 is vital to the aerospace industry. That means accepting a cultural change as well as investing in technology.
Jeegar Kakkad is chief economist and director of policy at ADS, a trade organization for companies in the UK aerospace, defense, security and space sectors. He believes the...
A Rafale breaks the sound barrier above the head of the new French president. We’re at the Paris Air Show, the must-be-there event in international aeronautics. Every two years, exhibitors introduce and demonstrate the latest in heavenly speedsters.
One of this year’s themes is more evident inside the exhibition halls than on the tarmac. We’re talking about virtual reality. Emerging from the world of gaming, VR has found a ready welcome in the aircraft industry. Initially used for prototype design, it’s ever more common in situational simulation.
Parts for cars, planes, boats and now Formula One racing cars can be 3D printed. McLaren has formed a partnership with Stratasys to make small parts, even trackside. DirectIndustry e-magazine met the McLaren F1 team in London to discuss the first-ever racetrack print trial that took place at the Bahrain Grand Prix...
SAE’s Electric Aircraft Steering Group brings together technical experts, researchers and regulatory personnel to define best practices for the development of electrical systems for tomorrow’s aircraft. Newer Boeing and Airbus models already feature electric braking and, flight control actuators. Replacing traditional hydraulic and pneumatic systems, they could offer 3% fuel savings. While the technology for hybrid and fully electric aircraft propulsion is not yet available, industry leaders are looking in this direction. Rolls-Royce, GE and other major engine manufacturers are examining possibilities. According to SAE’s David Alexander, we may see a regional 100-passenger airliner with hybrid engines sometime after 2030. There is also input from outside the aerospace sector—Siemens is one example—and new players like AeroMobil. Crossover technology from the auto industry is also playing a role, adding to this high-flying synergy.
Olikrom is a Bordeaux startup that manufactures coatings containing intelligent pigments which react to external stimuli. The pigments make temperature- or pressure-related alterations visible to the naked eye, and are designed to improve industrial safety. Offering significant advantages to the aeronautical sector, the technology has prompted a partnership with Airbus. DirectIndustry e-magazine met with CEO Jean-François Létard at the Paris Air Show.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: What’s an intelligent pigment?
Jean-François Létard: They are materials which change conformation and reorganize themselves, changing color in response to termperature, light or pressure. Our job is to find the right formula such that the modification occurs in a way that satisfies an industrial safety need.
Alterations cause these pigments to shift from one state to another. We determine the temperature, the pressure or the light characteristics that will provoke the state shift.
DI e-magazine: But sophisticated electronic systems already exist to detect anomalies. Why this development?
Jean-François Létard: Yes, but they don’t offer the possibility of observing the anomaly immediately. Our system saves time and locates the anomaly right away.
DI e-magazine: Can you describe your partnership with Airbus?
Jean-François Létard: Airbus approached us with two requirements. The first was to detect abnormally high temperatures around the engines during long flights. The second was to detect impacts caused by falling objects or collisions with birds, or dents on structural elements caused by baggage-loading equipment. Our technology is already in use on an A380.
Olikrom’s coatings also react to light.
DI e-magazine: Does that mean your coatings are custom made in response to client needs?
Jean-François Létard: The materials are formulated to react to a particular alteration by changing color. For example, we can program them to react to a temperature of 120° or one of 60°. We can program the reaction to be reversible or not. Thus, we can program them to change when the chosen energy level is exceded just once. This is the type of material we use in the aeronautical sector.
We can combine two colors with two temperature thresholds in a single coating. We create the pigment as a function of the specifications submitted to us and integrate it into the paint or the ink.
DI e-magazine: Could you be more specific about the contents?
Jean-François Létard: No, I can’t! Keep in mind that some of our materials are for both civilian and military use.
Virginie Raisson is director of Lépac, a research lab specializing in predicting the future. She has just published The World in 2038, a prospective essay on possible world futures, including political, climatic, medical and technological scenarios. From Hyperloop to Blockchain, she questions the role of technology and what it offers society. Raisson shared her opinions on today’s technological revolution with DirectIndustry e-magazine.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: Why 2038?
Virginie Raisson: This book follows on an earlier work published five years ago, called 2033. Why 2033? Trying to foresee the future, we often think in terms of generations—20 or 25 years. I began work on the first book in 2008. Adding 25 years brings us to 2033.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: Is technological progress liberating, menacing or dangerous?
Virginie Raisson: For me, technology is a tool for managing transition. It should allow us to solve problems, such as those linked to resource depletion. Technology accompanies societal evolution, but never liberates the society.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: But today, technology rules every aspect of our lives. Algorithms are everywhere. It’s the reign of big data, of technology.
Virginie Raisson: I don’t think so. Algorithms are based on confirmed facts, on real information that will be used for additional calculations and predictions. But an algorithm can’t take into account the irrational or happenstance. We still have trouble predicting tomorrow’s weather! I think we more attention to algorithms and their presumed capabilities than they warrant today. Technology is essential so long as it meets a need. The great technological advances were those that responded to a demand. What’s different today is the exponential speed of innovation and discovery. But these technologies should make sense for society.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: Is that why you express doubts about Hyperloop as a future transportation system?
Virginie Raisson: Exactly. Take the high-speed train. We’re not building any more in Europe. They’re only being built in China, for example, because we realized it doesn’t offer the kind of service we need today. At one time, it answered a need. But today, speed isn’t the only factor. You only need to look at the ROI of high-speed lines.They’re all losing money, except Paris-Lyon and Tokyo-Osaka. To sum up, technology must meet a need, and our efforts and investments should focus on those needs. That means Hyperloop must be considered in this light.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: In contrast to Hyperloop, you talk about Bitcoins and Blockchain as technological advances that might meet specific needs for more secure internet communications.
Virginie Raisson: Indeed. Our societies rely more and more on networks and interconnectedness. Looked at in this way, Blockchain follows in the same vein as societal evolutions launched by the internet. Blockchain arrives at the right moment to accompany an evolution in which society is based more on individual than on collective behavior. And it offers increased security. In addition, it represents progress with lower costs.
Camille Rustici is a Video Journalist and the Editor-in-Chief for DirectIndustry e-magazine. She has years of experience in business issues for various media including France 24, Associated Press, Radio France…