5 Biggest Engineering News Headlines in 2019 so far
- Rolls-Royce ACCEL targets 300mph electric flight record
- Chinese rover begins journey following historic Chang’e 4 Moon landing
- SpaceX Dragon is in its final week at the station
- Boeing: Our new aerodynamic concept is spreading its wings at AIAA SciTech today
- Startup wants to 3D-print liveable starter homes
This year has a lot to live up to following 2018. December 2018 alone saw engineering news headlines that would pique anybody’s interest. Such as Passenger carrying spaceship touches edge of space for first time, Bone implant production process combines 3D printing and plasma coating and Insights from wriggling fish may improve robot design.
We hope the world of engineering in 2019 continues on it’s forever upwards trajectory. Continuing to amaze and impress as always. i4 Recruitment bring to you five of the biggest engineering news headlines of 2019 so far. We’re just one week into the year and plenty is happening already. Let’s take a look.
1. Rolls-Royce ACCEL targets 300mph electric flight record
ACCEL, “Accelerating the Electrification of Flight”, is on track to becoming the fastest electric powered aircraft in history. Achievements made via harnessing expertise from the world of Formula E. ACCEL project lead for Rolls-Royce, Mathue Parr states “This plane will be powered by a state-of-the-art electrical system and the most powerful battery ever built for flight.”
Siemens currently holds the record for the fastest electric plane. Reaching speeds of 210 mph in 2017. ACCEL aims to smash this with Parr saying “We’ve already drawn a series of insights from the unique design and integration challenges. And we’re gaining the knowhow to not only pioneered the field of electric-powered, zero-emissions aviation – but to lead it”
ACCEL in short
- Most powerful battery ever flown
- Three lightweight e-motors
- Enough energy to power 250 homes
- Target speed of 300+ mph
- Range of 200+ miles
- Boasts zero emissions
As far as engineering news and headlines go, it’s safe to say Rolls-Royce have kickstarted 2019 with a bang. Or should we say “near silent transition from chemical energy to kinetic resulting in flight”?
2. Chinese rover begins journey following historic Chang’e 4 Moon landing
A bit of a mouthful but definitely worth reading up on. After a successful separation from the Chang’e 4 lander, China’s Jade Rabbit 2 rover embarks on it’s mission along the far side of the moon. Touchdown took place at around 02:30 GMT on Thursday morning in the Aitken basin at the moon’s southern pole. This is the first spacecraft to land on the satellite’s far side which is often referred to as “the dark side of the moon” due to being permanently out of sight from earth as a result of tidal locking.
Very little is known about the far side even with the first images being taken by the Russian Luna 3 space probe sixty years ago in 1959. To provide communications for the mission and facilitate touchdown a relay satellite called Queqiao is currently in orbit. Situated in the L2 Lagrange point beyond the moon it was launched in May 2018.
Equipped with a panoramic camera the rover will scout out locations of interest on the moon’s surface. The rover will also use a Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) instrument to look into the moon’s shallow subsurface to a depth of around 100m. This will be used to explore the structure of the upper crust of the moon and probe the thickness of the lunar regolith.
Chang’e 4 facts
- 12 month lander mission
- 3 month rover mission
- Launch mass of 1,340 kg
- Long March 3B rocket
- Xichang Satellite Launch Centre
- Von Karman crater landing site
3. SpaceX Dragon is in its final week at the station
The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is in its fifth and final week attached to the International Space Station (ISS). The Dragon space freighter attached to the ISS Harmony module has almost completed its cargo mission of delivering over 5,600 pounds of science equipment and supplies. On the 10th Jan 2019 the Dragon will return to Earth and be retrieved from the Pacific Ocean.
More engineering news from SpaceX on Twitter
As expected SpaceX have been very busy and present online throughout the early days of 2019. Releasing images and statements of launches, crafts and more projects, there is plenty to get excited about for this year with SpaceX
4. Boeing: Our new aerodynamic concept is spreading its wings at AIAA SciTech today!
Boeing, the world’s most famous aircraft manufacturer unveils today its Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) concept. Revealed at the AIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition, researchers say it will fly higher and faster than other TTBW concept aircraft.
The aircraft’s folding wings measure 170 feet from end to end. A truss that supports the longer than typical ultra-thin wing allows a higher span than normally seen on aircraft. NASA Ames Research Centre will house the wind tunnel testing for Boeing’s TTBW concept. Both Boeing and NASA have been taking part in the Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research (SUGAR) program.
More Boeing engineering news 2019
- The company boasts delivery of 806 commercial and 96 military aircraft over the previous twelve months.
- United Airlines completes its Dreamliner family with new arrival of 787.
- CEO of Boeing, Dennis Muilenburg recognised as Aviation Week’s 2018 person of the year.
5. Startup wants to 3D-print liveable starter homes
Fast construction of affordable housing is being revolutionised in the US by S-Squared Construction. Autonomous Robotic Construction System (ARCS) designed and produced by a group of Long Island, New York, based friends can lay down a home in just over 30 hours.
S-Squared co-founder Bob Smith says “This will be the first time a real house is going to be built with 3D printing. Everyone else has put up sheds.”
In March of 2019, S-Squared plans to construct a demonstration home in Calverton at the Suffolk Cement site. “We are looking to be a disruptor,” says Smith. “But we’re not the class clowns. We’re just the ones who would keep asking the teacher, ‘why does it have to be that way'”?