Home' Asian Aviation : AAV April 2017 Contents 24 AsianAviation | April 2017
growth requirements, with Boeing exploring
advanced simulation training potential.
Work by the organisation in collaborative
robotics has recently seen the entry into
service of a robot working alongside people
in Boeing Aerostructures’ Fishermen Bend
facility where a robot has taken over the
job of shaving titanium stems for 737 ailer-
ons, which was previously conducted by a
person and was highly work-intensive. The
change allows for an increase in production.
“ We are now looking at other applications
for the robot to work alongside humans,”
gy-Australia. A new work area is investigat-
ing cabin disease transmission prevention,
says Michael Edwards, general manager
of Boeing Research and Technology-Aus-
tralia. The organisation is working with the
University of Queensland on the research,
which is looking at the prevention of virus
transmission on-board, such as flu. The
research is in the early days, with Boe-
ing hoping to develop it over the next few
years, says Edwards.
Virtual reality is also “an interesting space
for us”, says Edwards, particularly in pilot
training to allow the industry cope with its
Insitu Pacific is aiming to have a 50-50 split
in its business between civil and military op-
erations within eight to 10 years as the com-
mercial use of unmanned aircraft systems
(UAS) takes off. Insitu Pacific’s business is
currently 80 percent military-based, accord-
ing to Andrew Duggan, managing director.
The company has established a commercial
business to focus on the sector following
its acquisition of imagery processing com-
pany 2d3 Sensing and Duggan expects the
commercial business to be the growth area.
Insitu Pacific is initially targeting the re-
sources sector, with one project involving the
ScanEagle UAS inspecting pipelines and gas
wells in Queensland for Queensland Gas/
Shell Australia. The UAS has replaced visual
inspections, allowing dozens of well heads
a day to be inspected, says Duggan. The
project is a world first for Shell and Duggan
hopes it will be a test case, leading to further
work globally with the resources giant. Insitu
is engaged in other commercial projects in
Australia, which he declines to comment on,
although he acknowledges hard rock mining
also holds significant potential.
Insitu has also looked at commercial appli-
cations in emergency services, but the chal-
lenge there is the model. Having a UAS sit
on the ground waiting for an emergency isn’t
something that works for Insitu, he explains.
Lockheed Martin has launched a two-year
research project with Geoscience Austral-
ia to develop a second-generation satel-
lite-based augmentation system (SBAS)
which is intended to deliver greater accu-
racy to global navigation satellite signals
than ever before. The project is aimed at
showing how augmenting signals from
multiple GNSS constellations — GPS and
Galileo — can enhance positioning, naviga-
tion and timing for a range of applications.
Lockheed Martin originally identified the
Avalon Air Show
CENTRAL COAST AIRPORT
Mahindra Aerospace’s Airvan 10 appears to be making progress, with long-delayed
type certification from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority expected in March,
and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification expected to follow
shortly after, according to Marguerite Morgan, business development manager.
Mahindra’s Australia-based aircraft manufacturer (formerly GippsAero) has
been working on the stretched 10-seat version of the successful Airvan 8 utility
aircraft since 2011, with first flight in 2012. The design has changed several times,
concedes Morgan. The manufacturer has not started to take orders for the Airvan
10, but there is “good, solid interest”, says Morgan.
Going through Australian and US certification concurrently has highlighted the
increased costs faced by Australian manufacturers, says Morgan, with the man-
ufacturer long complaining that Australian companies are not on a level playing
field with overseas counterparts when it comes to certification. Morgan will be
highlighting this fact in her new role as a member of the Australian government’s
General Aviation Advisory Group which was set up in February to improve con-
sultation with the country ’s general aviation sector to arrest the industry ’s decline.
No firm plans have been made for a third Airvan family member, with Mahindra
originally planning to upgrade the former Nomad aircraft and relaunch it as an
18-seat Airvan 18. “ The total focus is currently on the Airvan 10,” says Morgan.
Some 240 Airvan 8s are in service, with deliveries recently starting to China, with
the first five going to local dealer Shaanxi Jinggong General Aviation Company and
already operating on tourist flights and freight work. Mahindra remains hopeful of
deliveries this year to Indian customers once it overcomes regulatory hurdles. Alaska
is proving a strong market for the type, with nine aircraft going to the US state over the
last two years, while five aircraft are being operated by the California Highway Patrol.
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