Oysters could lead to new protective aircraft coatings

A new protective coating for aircraft might have its source from an unlikely place: your local seafood restaurant.

Scientists at the University of Dayton Research Institute are studying how oysters could lead to new corrosion-proof and environment-friendly aircraft coatings.

According to AOPA Online, the research focuses on how oyster blood cells deposit nacre, a natural ceramic material used by oysters to form shells and pearls, and apply it to metal surfaces.

Source: AOPA Online
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Cessna Rolls Out First Production Citation XLS+

Cessna reports the first production Citation XLS+, the latest version of the world's best-selling business jet model, rolled out last Friday at the company's primary design and manufacturing facilities in Wichita.

According to Cessna...

The first production unit now will go to paint and interiors, while two flight test aircraft continue to work toward type certification. Federal Aviation Administration certification is expected by mid year, with deliveries starting before the end of 2008.

The upgrade to the mid-size Excel/XLS will feature the fully integrated Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite and electronically controlled (FADEC) engines from Pratt & Whitney Canada. Exterior and interior restyling is also integrated into the new model, most prominently the extended contour of the nose and expanded seat widths, both introduced to more closely resemble Cessna's Citation X and Citation Sovereign models.

The Citation XLS+ will travel as fast as 440 knots, have a range of more than 1,800 nautical miles and land on runways as short as 3,180 feet at its maximum landing weight, 2,700 feet at its typical landing weight.

Source: Cessna
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Boeing tests fuel cell powered plane

Boeing recently announced that a manned airplane has flown using hydrogen fuel cells as a power source, a first in aviation history.

The fuel cell plane is the work of an engineering team at Boeing Research & Technology Europe in Madrid, with assistance from industry partners in Austria, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

According to Boeing...

"Boeing is actively working to develop new technologies for environmentally progressive aerospace products," said Francisco Escarti, BR&TE's managing director. "We are proud of our pioneering work during the past five years on the Fuel Cell Demonstrator Airplane project. It is a tangible example of how we are exploring future leaps in environmental performance, as well as a credit to the talents and innovative spirit of our team."

A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that converts hydrogen directly into electricity and heat with none of the products of combustion such as carbon dioxide. Other than heat, water is its only exhaust.

A two-seat Dimona motor-glider with a 16.3 meter (53.5 foot) wingspan was used as the airframe. Built by Diamond Aircraft Industries of Austria, it was modified by BR&TE to include a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell/lithium-ion battery hybrid system to power an electric motor coupled to a conventional propeller.

Three test flights took place in February and March at the airfield in Ocaña, south of Madrid, operated by the Spanish company SENASA.

During the flights, the pilot of the experimental airplane climbed to an altitude of 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) above sea level using a combination of battery power and power generated by hydrogen fuel cells. Then, after reaching the cruise altitude and disconnecting the batteries, the pilot flew straight and level at a cruising speed of 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) for approximately 20 minutes on power solely generated by the fuel cells.

According to Boeing researchers, PEM fuel cell technology potentially could power small manned and unmanned air vehicles. Over the longer term, solid oxide fuel cells could be applied to secondary power-generating systems, such as auxiliary power units for large commercial airplanes. Boeing does not envision that fuel cells will ever provide primary power for large passenger airplanes, but the company will continue to investigate their potential, as well as other sustainable alternative fuel and energy sources that improve environmental performance.

Source: Boeing
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