A consortium led by the Canada-Europe-US-Asia (CANEUS) aerospace network have collaborated to develop less-wire and fly-by-wireless (FBW) capabilities, which would enhance safety and reduce aircraft costs.
The collaboration is aimed at reducing the overall total wire weight by nearly 10%-30% and 70%-90% for components, which are expected to improve fuel economy, reduce emissions and potential failure points, in addition to enhanced operational performance.
The project is intended to develop an enhanced FBW research, testing and certification capability, to assist the global aerospace industry in making use of integrated vehicle health management (IVHM) applications for new and legacy aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
According to CANEUS, problems with wiring, connectors and sensors are often the main causes of prolonged delays, troubleshooting and replacements, as well as expensive flight hold-ups.
It is also claimed that the new initiative will benefit operators due to the maintenance expenses set to increase with the rise in number of aircraft in operation and flights in the emerging markets of Asia, Middle East and Africa.
Additionally, the aircraft that operate in the region have more than 30,000 connectors and tens of thousands of wires, which require routine checks.
New technology options, such as use of sensors for data connectivity and micro/nano technologies, will also allow retrofitting of existing vehicles, including large commercial fleets and soon-to-be-launched models.
CANEUS is currently in talks with governments and industry clients to set up such a facility in Canada.
Stakeholders in the consortium include LMCO, BAE Systems, Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier, GE, Gulfstream, Goodrich Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, NASA, and US DoD.