Engineering

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Engineering News (August 2017)

Business as usual The predicted major disruption at London Waterloo has not occurred, even with ten of its platforms closed. Large scale works are taking place under an £800 million project to upgrade stations throughout London that will ensure that each station can cope with longer carriages as well as accommodating higher numbers of passengers during rush hours. Network Rail announced that the closures at Waterloo are due to last until 28th August. Warnings were made by Network Rail fore-warning commuters of the closures and to expect extraordinarily busy stations during the period of station closures; it appears that passengers have taken these warnings to heart, and fewer have travelled as...

Engineering News (July 2017)

Rolls Royce on the up More than 7000 jobs in the East Midlands have been created following an announcement by Rolls Royce following the largest single investment in the United Kingdom for over 10 years. Rolls Royce have confirmed that they will be investing £150 million in a new testing area in Derby. The site will be used primarily to test large civil aero-engines, creating 200 jobs at the new plant. The investments in Derby, Hucknall and Annesley in Nottinghamshire have ensured that 7,000 employees will remain in their jobs for at least the next five years. Speaking for Rolls Royce, Eric Schulz explained that the “unprecedented growth” in the...

Engineering News (June 2017)

On a wing and a prayer A new world record attempt by Fraser Corsan to beat his own record of flying at the fastest speed flown in a wingsuit has been successful.  He smashed the record with a 15mph faster time, reaching 249 mph (his previous record was 234 mph) – although this world record achievement is yet to receive the seal of approval by the Guinness Book of Records. Corsan has now been dubbed the fastest man in the world, without using technology or any form of machinery. Corsan’s achievements have also seen him break two near FAI Continental and FAI British Altitude records in flying with a wingsuit, and is now the...

Engineering News (May 2017)

Flying round in circles Round runways could become a reality according to researcher Henk Hesselink from the Netherland Aerospace Centre. The researcher would like to see circular runways in use – and it’s not as mad as it sounds. He proposes a completely circular runway external to a centralised airport hub, which would both save space and also be friendlier to the environment due to increased fuel economy and a reduction in noise pollution. Tests within flight simulators are currently being undertaken. The idea is that airports will have a complete circuit surrounding them  When aircraft land and take off, they will be allocated an area of the runway, thus allowing up to...

Tech Update (May 2017)

Andy Cormack gives us the heads up on what’s on the horizon in hardware and technology, giving you the lowdown on the next big thing.   This month,  flying suits, issues with Windows 10 and fonts that may take your fancy. Inventor creates flying suit Richard Browning, a Royal Marine Reserve, has created a device to enable humans to fly, not dissimilar to that of Iron Man from the popular Marvel franchise. The technology behind it, at its core is simple enough; attaching kerosene micro gas turbines to both his arms and, initially both legs, but then switching from legs to two turbines on his back with angled positioning to...

Engineering News (April 2017)

Really rapid prototyping 3D printing could expand track glory for McLaren if their latest tests go to plan. The team based in Surrey has announced that they are using 3D printing technologies, improving identical designs and reducing weight in McLaren Honda’s MCL32 track car. McLaren have successfully printed a hydraulic line bracket, a flexible radio harness location book, carbon fibre composite brake cooling ducts and rear wing flaps, and have already applied it to their 2017 race car. 3D printing has improved production time. For example, the bracket for the MCL32 took only four hours build time, compared to the original manufacturing time of 2 weeks. Design and Development Director...

Engineering News (March 2017)

Something old Rolls-Royce recorded a pre-tax loss of £4.6 billion for the last financial year – the largest recorded in the company’s 133 year history. The power systems company has been hit by the decline in sterling; part of these losses have arisen from the £671m costs arising from settling historic bribery and corruption charges. Most international aerospace contracts are priced in dollars. Some of the protective investments that Rolls Royce made to cushion itself against market volatility were made to accommodate the rise and falls in the value of the US markets. The 2016 Brexit vote caused the value of Sterling to fall by around 19% against the dollar....

Engineering News – February 2016

NASA’s next manned spacecraft system, called Orion, passed a major engineering milestone in 2015 with the first successful flight and return to Earth of its prototype crew capsule, and has now reached another, as NASA starts major testing its other major components, the crew and service modules. Orion’s design symbolically represents a return to the design philosophy behind the Apollo spacecraft. After massive budget cuts several years ago, NASA has gone for an economical solution to the next era of space travel by returning to the tried and tested ideas that made the moon landings a critical success. The Space Shuttle last flew in 2011, and as a result of...

Engineering News – December 2015

Elon Musk’s SpaceX company has for the first time successfully landed the Falcon 9 rocket on Monday night.  This is a major step in the development of fully reuseable spacecraft.  Minutes after delivering its payload to orbit, the Falcon 9 started its controlled descent and touched down upright at Cape Canaveral.  Until now, the closest option for a reusable system was the Space Shuttle.  Even so, its primary fuel tank was sacrificed during launch, and the boosters although recyclable, had a limited operational lifespan. 196 countries finally reached a deal at the COP21 climate talks in Paris last weekend. Widely hailed as a significant achievemment, the talks were designed to address...