Innovation is key at the Farnborough Air Show in Hampshire, England. A week long international trade fair for the aerospace industry, where the technology of tomorrow is on show for all to see and where you get to glimpse of projects which, in a few short years, will become a reality.
Taking gadgets to a new level, the European manufacturer Airbus introduced the iPad to its cockpit. The touch screen device used by millions on a daily basis can now be operated by pilots to carry out numerous performance calculations, even including the configuration of an aircraft’s take-off.
Didier Lux, Executive Vice President of Airbus Customer Services, explained: “Our children use it every day, so we must be able to provide the same type of technology to Airbus pilots, especially when it’s so fantastic in terms of ergonomics, ease of access and data processing.”
Farnborough dedicated a special stand to innovation, where a number of projects from European universities are on display. Cardiff University exhibited its programme which identifies in real time, any damage caused to the structure of a plane.
“The idea of this system is to pick up damage. So, to be able to very early on collect information about any damage in the structure and where it is and what kind of damage we’ve got. There are sensors actually embedded into the composite structure and they pick up a signal that comes off the damage as it grows, and by using that information we can work out exactly where the damage is,” explained Carol Featherston, Aerospace Research Theme Leader at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering.
Promoting space tourism, Virgin unveiled a full-scale model of its Galactic SpaceShipTwo. Once it is operational, the price for a ticket into space will be 163,000 euros.