The aerospace sector wouldn’t exist today without
outsourced, precision engineering services and components. While the majority
of land vehicles are designed, constructed and tested in-house, the same does
not apply to most aircraft.
Considering the number and diversity of aeroplane,
spacecraft, satellite and helicopter components, aerospace engineering relies heavily
on production chains and outsourced projects. It’s a complex process as each part
or component must be designed and built to fit in with the overall plan.
In a world dominated by air travel and global concerns
around emissions, engineering innovation needs to be at the forefront. Airbus has
done just that as they revealed a new aircraft design that could revolutionise
the aviation industry.
A 62-year-old seaplane was transformed into the
world’s first fully electric commercial aircraft. The debut flight took place
earlier this month over Vancouver. This modified six-seater DHC-2 de Havilland
Beaver took off from the Fraser River at Harbour Air Seaplanes terminal in
Richmond, British Columbia, just south of the international airport.
Greg McDougall, CEO and founder of Harbour Air
Seaplanes, was at the helm taking the electric commercial aircraft on a 15-minute
flight. The 750-horsepower magni500 propulsion system was developed by
Australian electric motor manufacturer, magniX.
With growing concerns around global warming and the
increased usage of sustainable energy resources, hybrid aircraft could play a
bigger role in the future. The aerospace sector has undoubtedly made impressive
strides since the 1950s in terms of increased power and efficiency of engines.
However, more recent studies indicate that engine technology could reach
This means a more reasonable investment in the amount
of energy we can extract from carbon-based fuel. More air travel and more
aircraft in the sky will lead to increased fuel consumption and greenhouse gas
emissions unless we find a suitable fossil fuel substitute.
A new flying car has been unveiled in Japan by NEC
Corp. While it is essentially a drone with four propellers, the company says it
will be capable of carrying people. Even though the prototype only hovered for a
minute, it did fly and marks another impressive development in the hotly
debated area of future transport.
Over the last few years in Japan, a number of small,
passionate flying car communities have emerged. They believe that Japan has the
engineering knowledge and the right environment to succeed (and lead) a global
flying car industry. Venture capitalists in Japan have set up a fund called the
‘Drone Fund’ which is purely for investing purposes into autonomous aircraft and
flying car companies.