Metal Spinning and the Aviation Industry
Aviation Week was the perfect showcase for the announcement by Boeing of their innovation planned for the 777X and upcoming PIP between 2016 and 2020, when Boeing’s new 777X is planned to enter service. For the manufacturing teams this is tomorrow morning, yet to the sales teams wanting to fill the production skyline it feels like the next century.
But Boeing’s 777 sales team is about to get a shot in the arm. To help bridge the time to the 777X, the company plans to inject additional life into the -200LR/-300ER by developing a package reducing fuel burn by 2% from 2016 onward. The reduction of fuel burn of only 1% results in 75 nm flying distance, 10 more passengers or 2400 lbs of cargo.
Reduction in Fuel Burn by Aerodynamic Improvements
The upgrade that is expected to to increase fuel savings of more than 3% once the modifications are tested will be mostly in the aerodynamics of the design itself. The engines, built by GE, are going to have only one significant modification in the works to reduce fuel burn, but the metal spinning for the skin will be major innovation. Together with better than expected engine performance, similar changes improved the fuel burn of the 777-300ER by 3.6%.
- Metal aerodynamic innovations will counter any unexpected drag from environmental control system’s ram air exhaust duct;
- Aircraft’s raked wingtips handling changes.
- Duct changes included the addition of exit louvres controlled by new software in the cabin pressure system. Louvres improved thrust recovery and reduced drag.
- Wing changes include seven outboard 737-size vortex generators which, to Boeing’s surprise, resulted in a 0.4% improvement in fuel burn!
Boeing introduced a retro-fittable performance improvement package (PIP):
- Drooped ailerons altering the angle at the trailing edge by 2 deg., reducing drag by aerodynamic loading on outboard wing and improving loading span-wise.
- Aileron droop increased loading and caused a change in the wing twist. This reduced local flow toward the wingtip, which reduced shock on the outboard wing and further cut drag.
As all Aviation awaits the further announcements and the new 777X with PIP, Kryton Engineered Metals remains the go-to authority for innovative metal spinning. The company is important to the in-sourcing needs of other companies in the aviation industry.