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AIRBUS DEMONSTRATES FIRST FULLY AUTOMATIC VISION-BASED TAKEOFF
Friday, January 17, 2020
TOULOUSE, France -- Airbus has successfully performed the first fully automatic vision-based take-off using an Airbus family test aircraft at Toulouse-Blagnac airport. The test flight took off initially at around 10:15 am on December 18 and conducted a total of eight vision-based take-offs over a period of four and a half hours.

"The aircraft performed as expected during these milestone tests. While completing alignment on the runway, waiting for clearance from air traffic control, we engaged the auto-pilot," said Airbus Test Pilot Captain Yann Beaufils. "We moved the throttle levers to the take-off setting and we monitored the aircraft. It started to move and accelerate automatically maintaining the runway center line, at the exact rotation speed as entered in the system. The nose of the aircraft began to lift up automatically to take the expected take-off pitch value and a few seconds later we were airborne."

Rather than relying on an Instrument Landing System (ILS), the existing ground equipment technology currently used by in-service passenger aircraft in airports around the world where the technology is present, this automatic take-off was enabled by image recognition technology installed directly on the aircraft.

Automatic take-off is an important milestone in Airbus’ Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off & Landing (ATTOL) project. Launched in June 2018, ATTOL is one of the technological flight demonstrators being tested by Airbus in order to understand the impact of autonomy on aircraft. The next steps in the project will see automatic vision-based taxi and landing sequences taking place by mid-2020.

Airbus’ mission is not to move ahead with autonomy as a target in itself, but instead to explore autonomous technologies alongside other innovations in areas such as materials, electrification and connectivity. By doing so, Airbus is able to analyze the potential of these technologies in addressing the key industrial challenges of tomorrow, including improving air traffic management, addressing pilot shortages and enhancing future operations. At the same time Airbus is leveraging these opportunities to further improve aircraft safety.

Airbus notes that autonomous technologies are paramount to supporting pilots, enabling them to focus less on aircraft operation and more on strategic decision-making and mission management.

Source:  Airbus

 
MAGELLAN WINS CONTRACT FROM COLLINS
Monday, January 13, 2020
KITCHENER, Ontario -- Magellan Aerospace Corp has been awarded a contract by Collins Aerospace Systems - Landing Gear for the supply of nose landing gear assemblies for the Boeing 737 aircraft. The assemblies, which are comprised of complex machined titanium components, are to be delivered through 2024 from Magellan's facility in Kitchener, Ontario.

The Magellan effort on the project will utilize the company's resources in Kitchener as well as in New York, India, and Poland. Magellan said that, as final assembly of the 737 landing gear takes place at Collins' facility in Krosno (Poland), the nearness of Magellan's Poland facility provides an opportunity to stage buffer kits in close proximity, readily available to mitigate production risk.

Haydn Martin, Magellan Vice President of Business Development and Contracts, said, "This competitively-won business for the B737 platform yields in excess of 60 aircraft sets per month and speaks to the reputation that Magellan has built in the aerospace sector. The confidence that Collins has placed in Magellan is significant and demonstrates our ability to offer our customers comprehensive and reliable solutions."

Source:  Magellan Aerospace Kitchener

 
ALL SIX COMAC C919 PROTOTYPES NOW FLYING WITH NEXCELLE’S JET ENGINE NACELLES
Monday, January 13, 2020
BALTIMORE -- Nexcelle’s state-of-the-art nacelles on the COMAC C919 are being put through their paces as all six prototypes for this twin-engine commercial jetliner have now joined the aircraft manufacturer’s flight test program.

The no. 6 C919 performed its maiden takeoff in late December from Pudong International Airport, located adjacent to COMAC’s Shanghai’s final assembly line facility.

This reflects the further acceleration of C919 testing, as the initial flights of two other prototypes (aircraft no. 4 and no. 5) also were performed during 2019. The first three C919s took to the skies in 2017 and 2018.

With the test program in full swing, C919s are now flying from four locations in China: Pudong in the Shanghai region; the flight test center of Yanliang, situated in Shaanxi province; along with Dongying in Shandong province and Nanchang in Jiangxi Province.

Nexcelle’s role in the LEAP-1C’s integrated propulsion system

The C919 has one of the world’s first truly integrated propulsion systems, resulting from the close cooperation of Nexcelle as the nacelle supplier and CFM International, manufacturer of the LEAP-1C powerplants.

Nexcelle is supporting the accelerated flight test pace with the resources of its two parent companies: Safran Nacelles in France and U.S.-based Middle River Aerostructure Systems (MRAS). The Nexcelle joint venture has an established a presence in China, with its primary team located at COMAC’s Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute (SADRI) in the Xuhui District of Shanghai. For the build-up of nacelles and engines into complete integrated propulsion systems, Nexcelle and CFM International have an integration area located adjacent to the C919 final assembly line at COMAC’s Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co. location near Pudong International Airport.

Additionally, one of Nexcelle’s team members is positioned at Safran Nacelles’ Chinese industrial affiliate - Xi’an SAVI Nacelles - in the city of Xi’an, situated approximately 60 kilometers from the flight test center at Yanliang.

Based on Nexcelle’s work-sharing arrangement with its parent companies, Safran Nacelles has the C919 nacelle system’s lead industrial role, supplying the unique O-Duct thrust reverser which was developed through Safran Nacelles’ innovation program, while also bringing its electrical thrust reverser actuation system (ETRAS) expertise - which is used for the O-Duct’s deployment instead of hydraulic systems. Middle River Aerostructure Systems is responsible for supplying the nacelle’s inlet, fan cowls, inner fixed structure and engine mounts.

The innovative O-Duct thrust reverser

A key innovation in Nexcelle’s nacelle design is the thrust reverser’s O-Duct, which reduces weight, increases thrust reverser efficiency and facilitates engine maintenance. The O-Duct’s “clean” configuration (when compared to traditional D-duct thrust reversers) eliminates drag links in the engine’s secondary flow-path, enhancing the airflow path and improving fuel consumption - while also increasing thrust reverser efficiency. Improved engine maintenance is another advantage of the O-Duct design, resulting from easier access to the LEAP-1C’s engine core and the thrust reverser components.

COMAC has sized the C919 to accommodate 158 to 168 passengers, with a flight range of 4,075 to 5,555 km. To date, the company has announced orders for more than 800 C919s, received from 28 customers.

Source:  Nexcelle
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