Headlines from AIAA Propulsion and Energy 2014


Thursday, 31 July 2014, 4:15 p.m. EDT

U.S. must transform manufacturing

by Lawrence Garrett, AIAA web editor

Industry experts gathered Wednesday morning in Cleveland to offer their perspectives on current trends in advanced manufacturing, emphasizing additive and other technologies that are likely to be the way forward for the U.S. aerospace industry. Panel moderator David Salay, a consultant with the Ohio Aerospace Institute, kicked off the discussion by describing the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation program, which consists of multiple centers being built around the country to focus on advanced manufacturing technologies. The idea is to help “leapfrog” the technologies needed to “bring more manufacturing back to the U.S.,” said Salay.

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Thursday, 31 July 2014, 12:15 p.m. EDT

Energy’s future: Wind and aluminum

by Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications

Wind – especially off-shore wind turbines – and air-aluminum batteries are the potential future of the U.S. energy sector, according to panelists considering “Energy Trends and Their Implications on Advanced Technology” at the AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum in Cleveland.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 8:15 p.m. EDT

Skunk Works, the hub of aerospace innovation

by Lawrence Garrett, AIAA web editor

Alton Romig, vice president of engineering and advanced systems at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics – better known as the Skunk Works – addressed a packed house at AIAA’s Propulsion and Energy Forum Tuesday evening. He shared a brief history of Lockheed and the creation of the Skunk Works during World War II. The name, he noted, has come to mean any hub of innovation, in the same way that a photo copier is often referred to as a Xerox machine.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 1:15 p.m. EDT

Five things to remember about additive manufacturing

by Ben Iannotta, Aerospace America editor-in-chief

Additive manufacturing is all the rage, and for good reason. It can speed up product development and cut the cost of manufacturing complex parts for rockets and other hardware.

“We need to embrace this,” said Christine Furstoss, global technology director for manufacturing and materials technology at GE Global Research.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 5:15 p.m. EDT

Communicate and survive

by Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications

There are cures for what ails the aerospace workforce, where prospects for future growth are not robust: First and foremost is better communication to the public, about the benefits of aerospace to society, and to young professionals, about a future vision for the nation’s aerospace enterprise. Equally important remedies include adopting a sustainable, nationally oriented exploration policy, and taking a less risk-averse approach to aerospace pursuits.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 2:l5 p.m. EDT

Additive manufacturing: Progress and obstacles

by Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications

Additive manufacturing will allow companies to reduce their parts production time-line from “a couple of months and weeks to a couple of weeks and days,” creating tremendous cost savings for companies that can leverage the technology, said Greg Morris, manager of additive manufacturing and business development at GE Aviation.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 1:15 p.m. EDT

Brainstorming about tech transition

by Ben Iannotta, Aerospace America editor-in-chief

Transitioning technology from the lab into action has always been a huge challenge, but perhaps never more so than now. NASA and industry experts gathered for a panel discussion Tuesday to diagnose the problem and share ideas about how to address it.

One hurdle has been a divide between research and engineering staffs, so officials at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland have reorganized to solve that problem.

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014, 11:l5 p.m. EDT

Rising temperatures, population drive high energy

by Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications

Global warming and pollution, world population growth, rising demand for energy, and expanding urban areas that need increasingly complex transportation networks – all are fueling demand for a new generation of clean energy fuels, pollution control technology, and smarter vehicles. This was the conclusion of a panel moderated by Richard Stulen, retired vice president of Sandia National Laboratories, in Tuesday afternoon’s plenary session at the AIAA Propulsion & Energy Forum in Cleveland.

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014, 11:15 p.m. EDT

Education advice from aerospace experts

by Lawrence Garrett, AIAA web editor

Forging the next generation of propulsion engineers will require partnerships among academia, industry, and government, judging by comments by members of the panel “Educating the Next Generation of Propulsion Engineers – Are Changes Needed to Better Prepare the Future Workforce?” at AIAA’s Propulsion & Energy Forum on Tuesday morning.

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014, 11:l5 p.m. EDT

Solar energy on the rise

by Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications

Solar energy is on the rise in the U.S. and on track toward fulfilling more of our energy needs, but considerable barriers remain: So said participants in a panel discussion, “Advanced Terrestrial Energy Technologies: Generation, Storage, Distribution,” at AIAA’s Propulsion & Energy Forum in Cleveland.

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014, 2:25 p.m. EDT

The future of energy is almost here

by Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications

The future of energy will be here before we know it, said Alton Romig, vice president of engineering and advanced systems at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, better known as the Skunk Works. He was addressing today’s plenary session at AIAA’s Propulsion and Energy Forum in Cleveland. Romig discussed the state of the art in energy systems, considered the possible futures, and analyzed the challenges that may prevent such a future from unfolding.

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Monday, 28 July 2014, 11:45 p.m. EDT

Shaping the future of hybrid electric propulsion

by Lawrence Garrett, AIAA web editor

The aviation industry is a vital component of the U.S. economy, and hybrid electric propulsion systems are likely to be a key element of the aerospace industry’s future: That was the primary message delivered by of a panel of industry experts who met to discuss “A Future with Hybrid Electric Propulsion Systems – Opportunities and Challenges,” at AIAA’s Propulsion & Energy Forum on Monday morning.

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Monday, 28 July 2014, 10:15 p.m. EDT

For systems that survive, get an architect

by Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications

An architect can design a Parthenon or a Tacoma Narrows Bridge – a resilient system or one that breaks under strain. This was the theme of Monday’s Forum 360° Panel, “Assuring Critical System Behavior in an Era of Increasing Complexity and Change.”


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Monday, 28 July 2014, 8:15 p.m. EDT

Propulsion and future challenges: The users’ view

by Lawrence Garrett, AIAA web editor

Industry experts gathered on Monday afternoon to discuss “Perspectives on the Future of Propulsion & Energy – The View from Users.” The panel, part of AIAA’s Propulsion and Energy Conference in Cleveland, was moderated by Graham Warwick, managing editor, technology, at Aviation Week.

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Monday, 28 July 2014, 5:15 p.m. EDT

Relevance drives the speed of technology development and transition

by Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications

Three separate panels hailed the “relevance of technology” as the key to compressing the technology’s development and transition timeline. The panels took place at AIAA’s Propulsion and Energy Forum in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Monday, 28 July 2014, 1:15 p.m. EDT

For aircraft engine researchers, auto industry brings inspiration

by Ben Iannotta, Aerospace America editor-in-chief

Dramatically improving the efficiency of power and propulsion systems aboard aircraft is going to require openness to tapping developments in other disciplines.

That was one of the themes struck by members of the opening panel of AIAA’s Propulsion and Energy forum in Cleveland. The session, “Perspectives on the Future of Propulsion and Energy – The Art of the Possible,” was moderated by James Free, director of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

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