Дата: 27-06-17 10:49

OPINION: How technology tantalised at Le Bourget

A 3D-printed, hybrid electric-powered, autonomous and supersonic jet – although unlikely – would perfectly symbolise the new technology on display at Le Bourget this year.

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The boldly-named Boom announced 51 commitments for a Mach 2.2, 55-passenger airliner that does not exist. Start-ups joined the likes of Airbus and Boeing in a quest to exchange gas-fuelled thrust for electric power. And new 3D-printed parts and processes showed that the size and production limitations of that burgeoning technology are steadily being overcome.

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Now is an exciting time to be in the aviation industry. As Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurs have pushed into the sector, the major OEMs seem to be on the defensive.

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Not willing to lose talent to well-funded software barons, aerospace firms are rewriting marketing plans. Projects once pursued under proprietary-level secrecy are now openly discussed – even championed.

Ideas discarded 50 years ago are being exhumed by a new generation of engineers, armed with software, materials technologies and propulsion systems that could not have been dreamed of in the 1950s.

Overall, the ambitions are a good thing. The aviation industry needs to be challenged. But the OEMs should be warned: the fail-fast strategy may work on Silicon Valley’s lush balance sheets, but is likely to prove less appealing for shareholders in the industrials market.


Источник информации: Flight Global

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