Science Sunday (on a Monday): Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator

Rocket Science Scale: 5 – Actual Rocket Science

For my Senior Design Project at U of I, the project was to design a small business aircraft that would sell for somewhere between 5-7 million dollars and meet a bunch of design requirements. My group (Team Aerohead) designed the Nock 2.

Nock2_Sky3

I was the “propulsion” engineer on the team, and I put the propulsion in quotes because I really just chose an engine and made sure it worked with the design requirements. Another part of my work was to do some trade studies that had to deal with the engine. So the easy one was “What engine did you chose for the aircraft?” and was basically the sum of all the research I did.

Nock2_Sky8

The other trade study I did was on biofuels. I looked into which ones were available, pretended they were economically feasible, and then tried to determine which one would be the best for the Nock 2. The one thing that I learned from the study was that biofuels are expensive and not as readily available as traditional jet fuel. Even though the impact can would be better for the environment, it seemed the technology is not quite ready for commercial use.

So it makes me happy to see that Boeing is trying to make it affordable and available.
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Sunday Science: Flying Cars and Air Traffic

Rocket Science Scale: 5 – Actual Rocket Science

So this week was pretty light in terms of the major aerospace players. Nothing blew up. No game changing new products were announced. So I’m going to talk about another player in the aerospace industry. The Start-ups.

Space-X started as a small company with big ideas. I’ve always thought of them as the Mac computer of the aerospace industry (making the hip, super popular rockets that it claims are completely awesome). Of course that would make the traditional players the Windows computers, which typically cheaper, function well and many people also like, it just isn’t as “hip” as its competitors (i.e. Boeing, NASA). Of course this is not a perfect comparison. And now, like the Mac is to computers, Space-X is a big player in the aero industry.

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So what’s next? Thinking outside the traditional box, it seems that the new startups in the aero industry are focused on flying cars. Those things we dreamed of in Back to the Future which were so cool.

Oh Marty McFly and all that great stuff that happened in 2014 (Sorry Cubs)

Oh Marty McFly and all that great stuff that happened in 2014 (Sorry Cubs)

I’m not joking guys. Here are some concept designs from the companies.

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Sunday Science: V-22 Osprey Flyover

Rocket Science Scale: 5

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This is going to start with a rant and work its way back to the aircraft.

So I recently listened to the TED talk that was talking about “Why”. The speaker was talking about how great companies, speakers and inventors don’t focus on the How or the What but rather the Why. They start with the why and then work to the what and how. This is a concept that can be applied to anything that you do. For example, Why am I an engineer? Why did I choose to work in Aerospace?

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I’ll admit it’s not something I’ve thought about constantly. I’ve realized I love engineering because it challenges me. When working on a project, I’m very fond of asking why. Why does the program run this way? Why did you go with that method instead of this other one? The question Why is the foundation for making engineering decisions.

So Why Aerospace? [There are .gifs after the click!]

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Sunday Science: Gulfstream Reveals its Super Top Secret New Business Jets

Rocket Science Scale: 5

So this blog is still new. I’m trying to get used to taking photos of the meals I cook for posts. And I feel that ever Saturday, I sit for a moment and go, “oh shit, I forgot to write my Sunday Science post!” and then run to my computer and start writing.

Because I usually pick my topic in the middle of the week. This past Tuesday, Gulfstream introduced two new jets into its line, the G500 and G600.

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And I thought, those look really cool! I should read up on them and write my aerospace post about them. (because if you haven’t realized yet, all my Sunday Science post will be aerospace related. Cause that’s one of my favorite things :D)

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Yet I’m sitting here, right before I go out on a Saturday night, trying to type up a post. So this week, I’m just going to apologize and give you a bunch of other places to go read about this cool new jet. It is one of the fastest civil jets (Mach 0.925!) Which is almost at the sound barrier (Mach 1).

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All those lucky rich people. It’s one of the saddest parts about working in the aerospace industries, you design the coolest technology for the coolest aerospace applications, but you usually never get to fly in them. Sadness.

I mean, this is a place where rich people sit.

I mean, this is a place where rich people sit. Not us lowly mortals.

Read about it here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/aliciaadamczyk/2014/10/14/gulfstream-introduces-new-aircraft-family-of-private-jets-g500-g600/

http://aviationweek.com/business-aviation/gulfstream-displays-real-500-orders-hand

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2793666/gulfstream-unveils-new-luxury-private-jets.html

Happy Flying Gulfstream!

(Rocket) Science Sunday: Airbus A350 – 900 XWB

Rocket Science Scale: 5 (Actual Rocket Science)

Source: http://www.airbus.com/presscentre/pressreleases/press-release-detail/detail/airbus-a350-900-receives-easa-type-certification/

I have never understood people who are afraid of flying.

Airbus A350 - 900

Airbus A350 – 900

Growing up airplanes amazed me. I mean, they flew! If you were on one, you were in the sky! It was like magic. How cool is that!? It probably didn’t hurt that planes flew over my house on a daily basis (I grew up in the Chicago suburbs close to Midway.)

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So fast forward to present day and I am now working in the aerospace business (specifically the jet engine business). And the mechanics of flying are a little less magic and I’m even more confused on why people are afraid of flying. There are thousands of people working hundreds of thousands of hours to make an aircraft, the engines of the aircraft, the electronics of the aircraft, the systems of the aircraft, etc. It takes years before countries let new aircraft fly and transport people.  Continue reading