Posted: January 20, 2010

From the Wright Brothers Flyer to the Dreamliner - Composites Manufacturing 2010

(Nanowerk News) More than a century after the Wright Brothers piloted the first powered airplane, Boeing’s new 787-8 Dreamliner flew above Seattle and into aerospace history on December 15, 2009. The long-awaited Dreamliner was not only a testament to exciting, new advancements in air travel, but also to the power of composites, which make up 50 percent of the plane.
So why the significant use of composites for the Dreamliner?
The Dreamliner uses “20 percent less fuel” and travels “at speeds similar to today’s fastest wide bodies, Mach 0.85.”
NASA also relies on composites for its new Ares V cargo launch vehicle, a component of the new Constellation Program set to replace the Space Shuttle this year.
To talk about Boeing and NASA’s vast experiences with composite materials, Mark D. Jenks, Boeing vice president of development of the 787-9 Dreamliner (a slightly bigger version of the 787-8), and Mark J. Shuart, recently retired from the NASA and a current research professor at Virginia Tech, are scheduled to be keynote speakers at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Composites Manufacturing 2010, April 20-22 at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley.
“We consider it a major coup to have Boeing and NASA, – two of the foremost authorities on composites – share their best practices with us,” says Richard Lofland, 2010 conference chair and co-chair of SME’s Composites Manufacturing Community.
Beyond aerospace, the event also takes a comprehensive look at the evolution of all things composites. For instance attendees, will have opportunities to hear presentations such as “Composites for Golf Club Head Design,” presented by Marty Jertson, Ping Inc. and “Development and Manufacture of the Ultimate Travel Guitar,” by Joe Luttwak of Blackbird Guitars.
Lofland also says that the two-day event offers “a mix of conference and exhibition features.”
“It includes two tutorials; it also includes two panel discussions allowing for interaction between panelist and the audience...The conference offers an option of four different tracks (manufacturing & drilling, automated processing, tooling, composites fabrication) to choose from and if you have a conflict on which one to attend we are including a CD that will have all the presentations included,” he says.
In detail, representatives from various companies and organizations will present such topics as:
“State of the Art Machining of Composite Intensive Structures,” Mark Saberton of Flow International
“Productivity in Automated Fiber Placement,” Mike Mauser of Ingersoll
“The “Hole” Machining Story About Advanced Composites,” Glenn Sheffer, National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining
“Manufacturing Technology Advancements for Engine Nacelle Acoustic Panels, Jarrod Ridge of Royal Plastic Manufacturing
And as an ideal historical bookend to the Dreamliner, the conference will also feature the presentation, “Reinventing the Wright Flyer for the 21st Century,” by David P. Widauf, PhD of the U.S. Airforce. Widauf will discuss how he led a team to build a replica of the 1905 Wright Flyer out of composite materials using modern technology.
Additionally, two tours and more than 60 exhibitors round out the event, while some additional highlights include the “Meet, Greet & Discover” Networking Reception and the J.H. “Jud” Hall Award Luncheon, both of which will present opportunities to connect with key industry contacts.
“This is an exciting time in composites and the 2010 SME Composite Conference is loaded with current manufacturing and tooling innovations,” adds Lofland.
About SME
Founded in 1932, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking.Through its many programs, events and activities, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning all manufacturing industries and disciplines, plus the key areas of aerospace and defense, medical device, motor vehicles, including motorsports, oil and gas and alternative energy. A 501(c)3 organization, SME has members around the world and is supported by a network of technical communities and chapters worldwide.
Source: SME