Airplane Manufacturing Technology

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AirplaneManufacturing Technology

Aircraftmanufacturers continuously hold strong positions within the globalmarket due to the technological improvements. The advancements arequite diverse within the airplanes. The Airline ManufacturingTechnology is therefore accredited much care owing to the impacts itbrings about in the transport industry. However, as portrayed byvarious studies, there tends to be divisive assumptions on the impactof composites. While others view it as important additives in thestructure of aircrafts, some think they pose huge threats especiallyin terms of safety. This paper will look to outline some of theadvancements in the various aircrafts and the impacts linked to them.By relying on different research studies, the chapter will discussthe progress within the Air transport industry. As some studiesaffirm, applications entailed in the Flyer 1 by the Wrights Brothers,which is the first flight, are still applicable in the currentaircrafts used by civil aircrafts and military. As ascertained byseveral other studies, there is a correlation between currentaircraft technology and the older ones. Since the advent ofaircrafts, several aspects have been altered with the aim of makingthem more efficient. In that regard, this paper will ensure suchalterations are covered and illustrated appropriately. Elaboratingthe progress of Airline Manufacturing Technology is therefore a majorundertaking within this chapter.

BackgroundLiterature Review

Thesafety aspect entailing composite assemblies of an aircraft is onemajor area of concern. As portrayed by Blackman, B. (2008), whileimplementing a change, it is vital to assess composite materials inuse, design as well as the implementation costs. In addition to that,aspects such as safety especially effluents emitted by aircrafts areconsidered. Safety facets can also be exemplified by Airbusreluctance to incorporate composite designs though they providenumerous benefits in relation to structure [CITATION Bac08 l 1033 ].LoriRanson (2004) asserts that airbus which is among the largest aircraftmanufacturers has exercised caution while utilizing compositedesigns. In accordance to their notion, implementing compositedesigns may be quite detrimental in terms of safety [CITATION Ran04 l 1033 ].

Compositeshave been found to strengthen the aviation industry. Yancey Robert, asenior director in global aerospace affirms that numerous designershave resorted to utilizing composites to assist in making fuelefficient, comfortable and lighter aircrafts. It is evident that,almost half of the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 are made of compositeconstituents. Furthermore, Bombardier among other manufacturers arecontinuously appreciating composites for various aircraft sections [ CITATION Yan12 l 1033 ].The sentiments are echoed by the American Composites ManufacturersAssociation (ACMA) who deem the mixtures as being beneficial to theaircrafts. In accordance to the association, there are more positiveimpacts of composites. The benefits have not only improved the airtransport industry, instead automobiles have benefited from the same[ CITATION Ame15 l 1033 ].

Proponentsof composites also state that the materials have revolutionizedaerospace. Traditional use of metals such as alloys of aluminum havebeen replaced with carbon fibre composites. It becomes much easier towork with such materials, producing light and efficient aircrafts.The materials are deemed lighter, stronger and fatigue free. Sincethe advent of these materials, the field has experienced muchefficient aircrafts that are easier to manufacture and maintain [ CITATION Tim08 l 1033 ].

Withthe ever advancing aerospace field, more and more mechanisms arebeing employed with the aim of making even more efficient aircrafts.The composite materials being one advancement, draws divisiveideologies from different scholars as well as technologists. Forinstance, Airbus has been implementing the newer technologiespartially siting safety concerns. In addition to that, there is abelief that composite materials are hazardous thereby raisingenvironmental concerns. However, the benefits are also quite vast. Ittherefore begs a huge question whether composites are beneficial ordetrimental to the .


Arethe advancements in technology especially use of composites morebeneficial than traditional systems? Additionally, are theadvancements threatening in terms of safety?


Theairline manufacturing technology especially usage of composites hasbeen quite beneficial. As proved by research, the mechanisms involvedare quite safe. The composites are quite stiff. In fact thestiffness-to-weight ratio is very high. Stiff fibers normally glassor carbon are entrenched in a matrix forming a stiff material. Thefibers bring about the stiffness whereas the matrix gives the glueresulting in a stiff arrangement. The material is quite stiff yetvery light. Generally, fibers and plastics are less dense as comparedto metals. However, they are much stiffer but also light. Compositesare structured in such a manner that large cracks cannot be createdwithin them. Whenever cracks encounter neighboring fiber, they tendto stop. Though composites may crack when extreme force is applied,it may require a considerable amount of energy to entirely cause thefracture. This aspect makes these composites quite reliable and safe[ CITATION Yan12 l 1033 ].

Tofurther ascertain the beneficial aspects related to composites,fatigue and corrosion are also vital elements to consider. Metals arequite vulnerable to corrosion and fatigue. These two features haveled to high-visibility catastrophes in many years. A good example isthe 1980 Aloha Airlines calamity that was caused by fatigue. Aircraftnormally maneuver in highly corrosive areas. In that regard,corrosion inspections are normally done to ascertain the levels.However, technological advancements entailing usage of composites hascurbed these fears. This is because, the composite materials do notcorrode. In addition to that, the materials do not encounter adversefatigue damages experienced in metal structures. Newer aircraft likeBoeing 787 which has composite fuselages have the capability toprovide passenger comfort services which are not guaranteed in metalaircraft [ CITATION Yan12 l 1033 ].

Asportrayed in the current airline industry, usage of composites ishighly appreciated. As discussed by Jones (1985), graphite reinforcedcomposite structures reduce the weights considerably. In fact,current statistics show that graphite structures have resulted toroughly 15 to 30 percent weight savings. Used in control surfaces,landing gear and fairings, the composites have led to reduction inweights [ CITATION Jon85 l 1033 ].

Thoughthe usage of composites has seen an immense rise over the years,precautions are still vital. One major fear is the effect ofdelamination. Since the materials are comprised of diverse ply layersto form a laminate assembly, they are in danger of delaminatingbetween the different weaker layers. Such an impact can be quitedetrimental and hence designers are tasked with ensuring thecompositions are intact. Designers ensure loads put on the materialsare in pane in strong fiber areas and also prevents buckling.Techniques such as embedded sensors are used to detect such faultsand correct them accordingly. As a matter of fact, metals contractand expand more as compared to composite materials. In that regard,they is likelihood to cause joint failures. To curb these setbacks incomposites, designers are trying to adopt or rather invent compositesthat do not need joining. Such measures will make the compositematerials more compact hence less prone to delamination. This wouldlead to even more efficient and safe components [ CITATION Yan12 l 1033 ].

Oneother detrimental aspect likened to technological advancements in theairlines entails environmental issues. A 2006 study revealed thatroughly 1.6 percent of worldwide greenhouse emissions emanate fromaviation. With the ever rising air travels, the percentages are boundto rise even more. Widespread usage of composites has been cited as amajor cause of rising greenhouse gas emission especially carbondioxide. It is evident that greenhouse gases are a major cause ofclimate change especially global warming since they trap heat withinthe atmosphere making it much warmer than normal. These adverse risesin greenhouse gases initiated acts from the Advisory Council forAeronautical Research in Europe to combat environmental dangers. Asper the council, there was need to reduce carbon dioxide fromaircrafts by 50 percent. The target is quite challenging especiallysince it was meant to happen by the year 2020. Airframe weights werereduced considerably through usage of carbon composites toeffectively manage this challenge. Additionally, programs such asNGCW were initiated to research on mechanisms of reducing theenvironmental impacts [ CITATION Tim08 l 1033 ].

Thedetrimental aspects have not slowed down advancements in the airplaneindustry. The evidence show that composites have thus far improvedthe sector in various aspects such as safety. The studies evidentlyshow a positive correlation between improved safety and adoption ofcomposite built airplanes.


Utilizationof composites within the structure of aircrafts will increase thesafety standards as compared to the metal structured airplanes.


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Backman, B. (2008). Composite Structures: Safety Management. . Oxford: Elsevier Science &amp Technology.

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Robert, Y. (2012, June 11). How Composites are Strengthening the Aviation Industry. Retrieved from How Composites are Strengthening the Aviation Industry: