Following NASA partnership, CANEUS (Canada-Europe-US-Asia) Aerospace network and key aerospace stakeholders are teaming up to develop less-wire and fly-by-wireless (FBW) capabilities. The partnership projects to reduce aggregate wire weight by approximately 10%-30% overall and 70%-90% for critical components, contributing to improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and potential failure points, and improved operational performance.
Industry vision is to create world class FBW research, testing and certification capability, which will benefit the Aerospace industry worldwide for Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) applications for both new and sustainment of legacy aircrafts & UAV’s.
Stakeholders include LMCO, BAE Systems, Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier, GE, Gulfstream, Goodrich Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, NASA, and US DoD. CANEUS is discussing with Governments and industry customers to establish such facility in Canada. The consortium is scheduled to meet on August 27-28, 2012, in Ottawa to formulate international public-private partnership.
Improved Safety and Reduced Costs
Wiring, connector problems and sensors are key failure points, resulting in lengthy delays, troubleshooting, and replacement. Costly flight delays are precipitated by the need to troubleshoot cables/connections, and/or repair sensors. Thus, wiring continues to be too expensive to remove once it is installed, even with the weight penalties.
New technology options using sensors potentially for data connectivity and micro/nano technologies are making it possible to retrofit existing vehicles, such as large commercial fleets and already designed models that will enter the commercial market.
Implications for Emerging Markets: Environmental and Economic Impact
As the number of aircrafts in operation and flights will increase in emerging markets of Asia, Middle East and Africa, maintenance costs are one of the primary drivers of airlines. With many of these aircrafts having upwards of 30,000 connectors and tens of thousands of wires that must be routinely checked.
For example, the Airbus A380 contains 530km of wire for 525 seats and produces 75g of CO2 per passenger kilometer. In the cabin there are over 100,000 wires and more than 40,000 connectors creating limitless potential points of failure and areas to inspect and maintain.
CANEUS FBW partner Bombardier found use of ‘fly by wire’ systems reduced average load by roughly 600 pounds per plane, improved systems integration, reduced aggregate weight by roughly 1000 pounds, and composite wiring and connectors weight by 120 pounds.