Tag Archives: 6 sigma tool

KUKA Lands Aircraft Order

KUKA Robotics has received a key order from the aircraft industry. The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus S.A.S. has placed a blanket order with KUKA for the delivery of 41 “omniMove” mobile platforms for assembly of the Airbus A350 XWB. The assembly platforms will be used in the French, British, German and Spanish Airbus factories to sub assemble the plane’s wings and fuselage sections. The term of the blanket order is five years.

“omniMove” precision mobile platforms feature an extremely flexible horizontal range of motion in all directions, and they can also rotate on the spot. A specially designed system of wheels makes them exceptionally maneuverable in tight spaces. Bulky parts can be handled within a very small envelope. A large variety of devices can be installed on the platforms. KUKA Roboter GmbH purchased “omniMove” in 2006 to round out its product portfolio and has since enhanced the technology. This key order for “omniMove” platforms from the aircraft industry reflects the continuation of KUKA’s successful strategy to expand its non-automotive, general industry business.

KUKA Robotics Corporation, with its parent company KUKA Roboter GmbH, Augsburg, Germany, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial robots. The company’s 4, 5 and 6 axis robots range from 5kg to 1000kg payloads, and 635mm to 4000mm reach, all controlled from a common PC based controller platform. KUKA robots are utilized in a diverse range of industries including the appliance, automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, logistics, food, pharmaceutical, medical, foundry and plastics industries and in multiple applications including material handling, machine loading, assembly, packaging, palletizing, welding, bending, joining, and surface finishing.

JAARS Receives First Kodiak Aircraft


A new solution to support Bible translation for people lacking scriptures was turned over to David Reeves, president of JAARS, in Sandpoint, Idaho yesterday. JAARS is the first mission or humanitarian organization to purchase and receive the specialty Kodiak aircraft, securing serial number 008.

JAARS was established in 1948 by Wycliffe Bible Translators co-founder William Cameron Townsend to provide aviation and technology services to support Bible translation. However, the phasing out of aviation grade gasoline (avgas), and an aging fleet of JAARS aircraft, primarily comprised of piston-driven engines, is now affecting Bible translators’ ability to carry out their work. According to Reeves, the new Kodiak aircraft reaffirms the JAARS organization’s aviation leadership and continued focus on service.

“With 2,000 translation programs currently underway worldwide and almost 2,400 languages still needing Bible translations to be started, we looked into the future of aviation for a safe, effective solution to our passengers’ unique transportation requirements,” said Reeves. “The Kodiak is well- poised to meet the challenging needs of the translation community in remote operations.”

The Kodiak, developed by the Quest Aircraft Company of Sandpoint Idaho, is a ten seat aircraft with a turboprop engine capable of short take-offs and landings that uses readily available jet fuel and can carry a 3,100 pound load.

Very few regions of the world have a greater need for safe, reliable, air transportation than the vast island nation of Papua New Guinea north of Australia where Kodiak serial number 008 is headed. This Kodiak will provide access to many of the people who live in Papua New Guinea’s rugged mountains and remote coastal areas.

Wycliffe translators and national coworkers are working in partnership on 190 different language projects in Papua New Guinea. They have completed more than 160 New Bible translation projects, but at least 340 more languages have no Scriptures.

Following a tour of the U.S., and a period of orientation for JAARS pilots and final preparations, the first JAARS Kodiak will play a prominent role in the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture event in Oshkosh, Wis., July 27 to August 2. This eight month schedule of U.S.-based duties will conclude with the aircraft being flown to Papua New Guinea in August.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 on Launch Pad at Cape Canaveral


SpaceX announced its Falcon 9 launch vehicle was successfully raised to vertical on Saturday, January 10, 2009, at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) in Cape Canaveral, Florida — two days ahead of schedule. This operation was a critical step in validating a variety of system interfaces and launch processes in preparation for the maiden flight of Falcon 9 later this year.

“Any engineered system has requirements that can only be recognized through actual assembly of real hardware,” stated Brian Mosdell, Director of Florida Launch Operations for SpaceX. “This rapid integration and stand-up provided our engineers and technicians with invaluable insights that will greatly streamline our efforts towards the first Falcon 9 launch in 2009.”

SpaceX completed the Falcon 9 vehicle integration in a horizontal position on December 30, 2008. After integration, Falcon 9 was lifted and mated to a transporter erector system, designed and built by SpaceX, which carried the 17 foot diameter, 180 foot long rocket to the launch pad. On January 10, 2009 at 12:45 PM EST, SpaceX began the process of raising Falcon 9 and approximately 30 minutes later, Falcon 9 stood vertical at the Cape.

“This entire process has helped us validate key interfaces and operations prior to executing our launch campaign with the vehicle in its final flight configuration,” said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX. “We encountered no show-stoppers or significant delays. I am highly confident that we will achieve our goal of being able to go from hangar to liftoff in under 60 minutes, which would be a big leap forward in capability compared with the days to weeks required of other launch vehicles.”

This latest accomplishment follows closely on a series of recent successes for SpaceX. In November 2008, SpaceX successfully conducted a full mission duration firing of Falcon 9, validating SpaceX’s use of nine engines on the first stage, as well as the ability to shut down engines without affecting the remaining engines. In December 2008, NASA selected the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft as the primary means of transporting cargo to and from the International Space Station after the Space Shuttle retires in 2010.

$2.8 Million Contract Award from Sikorsky Aircraft


CPI Aerostructures announced that it has received a contract from Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation valued at $2.8 million for the S-70B SEAHAWK helicopter. CPI Aero will be providing Penguin Missile Launcher assemblies. Delivery of these parts will begin in May, 2009. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies.

The S-70B SEAHAWK weapon system provides international navies with a modern, battle-proven, in-use, low-risk Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) / Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW) mission solution. The weapons management system has a flexible open architecture capable of integrating indigenous weapons and mission equipment.

This award brings the total new year-to-date awards to a record $55.0 million, compared to only $37.7 million for all of last year.

Berlin Airlift Re-Enactment Launches in North Carolina


From the cockpit of a C-54, U.S. Air Force Col. Gail Halvorsen made international news in 1948 when he dropped chocolate bars and gum to West German children, deprived of food and treats through a Soviet-controlled blockade.

Known as “Uncle Wiggly Wings” and “The Chocolate Flier,” Halvorsen was again the apple of children’s eyes when he dropped sweets in North Carolina during a re-enactment of the famous 1948-49 Berlin Airlift, Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. at the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Regional Airport. It marked the 60th anniversary of the airlift.

Hosting the event is ideal for Elizabeth City, an area with a rich aviation history – and a burgeoning future.

“Elizabeth City has launched many news-making events, from hosting the Wright brothers before their first flight to the deployment of blimps during World War II,” said Wayne Harris, director of the Albemarle Economic Development Commission. “The opportunity to witness this historical re-enactment is one that should not be missed.”

Presented by the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation, the re-enactment is sponsored by DRS Technologies, which operates an aircraft maintenance facility in Elizabeth City. Eastern Aviation Fuel is donating gasoline for the flight. And an Elizabeth City confectionary, The Chocolate House, is providing 100 hand-crafted commemorative chocolate bars that Halvorsen will drop from the “Spirit of Freedom,” a restored 1945 Douglas C-54E aircraft.

While Halvorsen’s crew has conducted educational programs in Elizabeth City before, this is the first time the event is open to the public.

“This is a chance to learn from the veterans that served during one of the great humanitarian efforts in history,” said Airport Director Scott Hinton.

Joint Technology Development Agreement With NASA


St. Lawrence Energy, a reusable energy company, announced today that it has entered into a joint solar energy technology development agreement with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Through the agreement, both St. Lawrence and NASA will jointly cooperate in developing the next generation, more efficient, solar energy technologies.

St. Lawrence has engaged 3Soft, Inc. of South Korea in partnership for product adaptation and marketing to major markets in Asia. 3Soft’s capability in manufacturing and implementation will allow St. Lawrence to leverage off 3Soft successes with its manufacturing sophistication. 3Soft is expected to continue with its participation in St. Lawrence’s solar venture and to shorten time to market.

St. Lawrence intends in conjunction with NASA’s research efforts, to take advantage of developing competitive solar technologies, and of the solar market growth of 48% annually through 2013, reaching 23 GW (GigaWatts), from 4.9 GW in 2008. The solar market is expected to reach $100.4 billion in 2013, up from $33.4 billion in 2008.

Alion Awarded Combat Air Forces Distributed Mission Operations’ Task Order Worth $8.1M for Air Combat Command Support


Alion Science and Technology, an employee-owned technology solutions provider, has been awarded a Combat Air Forces (CAF) Distributed Mission Operations (DMO) task order for $8.1 million to support the Air Combat Command (ACC) in its mission of sustaining global implementation of national security strategy.

Alion will analyze modeling and simulation (M&S) technologies and M&S-based training approaches. These analyses will be used by ACC to develop DMO enabling concepts and implementation plans that will allow the command to fulfill its readiness training responsibilities. By identifying M&S technologies that can create an optimum mix of live flying and simulator-based training experiences, ACC can establish the foundation for creating hybrid training ranges in which live (real) systems can be integrated with virtual (simulated) and constructive (computer-modeled) ones. The work also includes research in the use of M&S technologies to create a competency-based training strategy that can be used within Live-Virtual-Constructive (LVC) battle spaces. Another important aspect is supporting ACC in establishing M&S-oriented cross domain security solutions for the DMO program.

“Alion’s M&S research and analyses will provide a path to migrate existing and emerging LVC technologies into the requirements of ACC’s enabling concepts and plans,” said Dick Brooks, Alion Senior Vice President and Manager of the Distributed Simulation Group. “This will include the development of concepts, strategies and recommendations to improve readiness training and effectively document this information so that the M&S requirements are efficiently transmitted to the commands acquisition agents.”

The period of performance runs through September 29, 2011.

Air Combat Command operates fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, battle-management and electronic-combat aircraft. It also provides command, control, communications and intelligence systems and conducts global information operations.

Air New Zealand Biofuel Test Flight


The world’s first commercial aviation test flight powered by a sustainable second-generation biofuel this past week in New Zealand.  The Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400 will have one of its four Rolls-Royce RB211 engines powered by a biofuel blend derived from a second-generation biofuel plant – Jatropha Curcas.

The Air New Zealand test flight is a joint initiative with partners Boeing, Rolls-Royce and Honeywell’s UOP in commercial aviation’s drive for more sustainable air travel for future generations. Captain Morgan will detail the various stages of the flight and the tests that will be undertaken to check the performance of the biofuel blend under a variety of operating conditions.

Air New Zealand and its partners have been non-negotiable about the three criteria any environmentally sustainable fuel must meet for the test flight program. These are social, technical and commercial.

Happy New Year from UIAGC!

Here is to a prosperous and successful 2009 from the entire UIAGC team!


Southwest Airlines Awards GE $40 Million Large Area Display System Contract


GE Aviation has been awarded a $40 million contract from Southwest Airlines to provide the new SDS-6000 large area display suite for Boeing 737 Classic aircraft. First production deliveries will take place in early 2011. The systems will be installed on up to 150 aircraft.

Integrated with the flight management system upgrade awarded to GE by Southwest last year, the combined system will provide the full benefit of flying the most efficient Required Navigation Performance (RNP) operations available. Southwest will be well equipped to lead the way in the expansive use of these approved routes realizing fuel, emission and noise reductions.

Patricia O’Connell, president, Civil Business unit for GE Aviation Systems, said, “Southwest Airlines is the launch customer for this new large area display suite. This integrated display system, coupled with our flight management system, enables operators to fly advanced navigation procedures and reduce operator costs from less fuel, less emissions and less through life costs.”

The GE solution comprises a complete integrated cockpit display solution, including primary flight displays, standby instrument and control panels. The primary flight displays, which have been designed to mimic the appearance of the B737 Next Generation cockpit, feature new 15.4” widescreen displays with innovative dual-channel display architecture, which is patent pending and offers unprecedented levels of display availability. The displays feature integral signal and video processing and graphics generation, eliminating the need for a separate symbol generator. The suite includes GE’s Integrated Standby Instrument System (ISIS), which provides a single box solution for standby instrumentation. Southwest has selected Boeing Commercial Airplanes as the integrator of the system into the fleet of Boeing 737 Classic aircraft.