Will Industry 4.0 drive the pilots out of the cockpits?

Future control of commercial aircraft from the ground? / Image: Psibemetix.Inc.

With the fourth industrial revolution – the industry 4.0 – the interplay of man and machine changes dramatically. The symposium of the Research Network for Pilot Training (FHP), of the Technical University of Darmstadt, this year focussed on this topic.

Can, or will, the artificial intelligence drive the pilots out of the cockpits? How will Industry 4.0 affect the training of pilots and air traffic controllers and change their requirements profile? What about the security risks caused by digital automation, hardware and software failures, the effects of hacking and viruses, the automation scenarios and the cockpit constellations in the future? The following is an excerpt from the report about a two and a half day symposium in the Rheingau with scientists, pilots and training officers of airlines and the German air traffic control, who tried to find answers. Continue reading “Will Industry 4.0 drive the pilots out of the cockpits?” »

With flying skate fish into the future?

Image: German Aerospace Center (DLR)

They currently only exist on computer screens of researchers, universities and development departments of various companies, remind of Star Wars, or exist as a few meters of remote-controlled models. They look like flying skate fish and could be seen at the airports of the world in 20 or 30 years.

Professor Detlef Schulze, Head of the Department of Vehicle Engineering and Aircraft Construction at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW), is one of the experts who is instrumental in the development of the revolutionary designs. Together with other professors of the HAW he is thinking about completely new construction methods. A variant in the blended wing body (BWB) is an aircraft whose fuselage flows smoothly into the wings. This creates an aircraft cabin that can transport more than 1000 passengers. Continue reading “With flying skate fish into the future?” »

Digital media are a great danger for our brain

Foto: industrie-4.0

“Digital media is fulfilling a fundamental dream of humanity: the mastery of time and space, but that also entails a great danger”, says brain researcher Professor Dr. Dr. Gertraud Teuchert-Noodt from the University of Bielefeld. If media users do not get the upper hand about their actions and plans they succumb unnoticed to a kind of cyberattack on the networks of their brains.

Particularly those subsystems, which are responsible for the memory formation and for the cognitive achievements are attacked. This can cause addiction, burnout or depression. A new challenge both in terms of study and in the world of work will not be to allow the media to put us in their service. It is therefore useful to know more about those nerve networks in the brain that make us strong. At the beginning of May the brain researcher gave a lecture on “Where does the digital revolution go?” at the Technical University of Darmstadt/Hesse. “If we keep the cart running like this, a whole generation of digitized children will return to the Stone Age”  Teuchert-Noodt warns. Continue reading “Digital media are a great danger for our brain” »

ILA 2016 – New inner-city airports and new aircraft – a glimpse into the future

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Cent air station/Image: Bauhaus Luftfahrt

After its trade fair appearances in 2012 with “Ce-Liner” and 2014 with “Propulsive Fuselage”, Bauhaus Luftfahrt again wants to attract the attention of important trade visitors and the wider public at this year’s ILA Berlin Air Show form June 1st until June 4th.

In collaboration with twelve students from Glasgow School of Art, 25 scientists from Bauhaus Luftfahrt have developed a well-matched airport and aircraft concept: “CentAirStation” and “CityBird”. Their mission statement: New inner-city airports and new aircraft operating regionally between these new inner-city airports and conventional airports will contribute greatly to solve major air transport challenges in 2040 and beyond.

Please find more details related to “CentAirStation” and “CityBird” and more background informatoin in the links:

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At the stand of its industrial partner MTU Aero Engines (hall 2, no. 301), Bauhaus Luftfahrt will illustrate its concept based on a model in scale 1:200 as well as two animations in 3D and 360 degrees. jwm

New flight just a dream for the future?

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The ‘e-Genius’ is a one-man electric aircraft, developed by the Institute of Aircraft Design at Stuttgart University. The first flight took place on 25 May 2011. Top speed: 270 km/h, span: 17 m, length: 8.1 m/Image: Institute of Aircraft Design, Stuttgart University

In the summer of 2015, Airbus sent an electrically driven two-seater, the “E-fan”, across the English Channel. At the same time, “e-Genius”, also a two-seater battery-powered aircraft, developed at the Stuttgart Institute, flew to Milan and back. Energy costs: only 20 Euro.

At present, the Stuttgart Institute is developing a hybrid aircraft. The lithium polymer battery is to be supplemented by a generator powered with diesel, kerosene or agrosprit. The biggest problem remains with the batteries, which are still too heavy. Another problem is the cost. Developing a new aircraft is very expensive. “The range is from 50 to 100 billion euros,” said Gernot Klepper of the Institute for World Economy in Kiel. Development requires a commitment of 20 years. Airbus, for example, expects standard operations for its electric aircraft to commence no earlier than the year 2050. Also, industry representatives demonstrate caution: it will be a while yet before any alternative, environmentally-friendly fuels are implemented. Until then, the industry is focusing on sustainable alternative fuels and “process optimization”. Continue reading “New flight just a dream for the future?” »

Less Noise, Less Fuel

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DLR research aircraft Airbus A320 ATRA. Image: DLR

Two new research projects of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR) aim to achieve less noise and lower fuel consumption.
Two research projects that the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Environment & Community Center (UNH) presented in Kelsterbach near Frankfurt on 24 November are aimed at reducing aircraft noise over residential areas.
On behalf of the UNH, a subsidiary of the state of Hesse, the DLR is expected to test a pilot assistance system called LNAS (Low Noise Augmentation System) with the A320 ATRA research aircraft during regular operations at Frankfurt airport in the summer of 2016). The system is supposed to offer a noise-optimized approach procedure. The researchers wish to find out Continue reading “Less Noise, Less Fuel” »

Propulsive Fuselage: Adding an extra engine to reduce emissions

fuselageIn view of the aviation industry´s ambitious “Flightpath 2050” emissions targets, new approaches for propulsion system design and integration are required to further improve aircraft efficiency. One promising idea proposed by academia and industry is to distribute the power of a single core engine to two or even more fans.

This would increase the propulsive efficiency due to a larger total fan area while main- taining a moderate increase in fan diameter and weight. Generally referred to as “distributed propulsion”, this would open up new options for optimization such as Continue reading “Propulsive Fuselage: Adding an extra engine to reduce emissions” »