Technology collaborations announced at Paris Air Show

June 20, 2013 at 4:34 PM
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PARIS, June 20 (UPI) -- Amid the hoopla at the biennial Paris Air Show over aerial performances, big contracts and new products, collaborative agreements are sometimes overlooked.

Yet it can be argued joint efforts at research and development are an important part of the Aerospace and Defense industry, especially in an era of tight budgets.

Three of note that were announced at this year's event revolve around materials technology and engineering and flight physics.

The National Research Council of Canada announced it has entered a five-year collaborative deal with Aerolia, a subsidiary of EADS, the European defense and aerospace conglomerate, to research metal and composite technology for use in aircraft.

Aerolia, which is headquartered in France, has an operation in Canada and plans to build an Aerolia Canada headquarters and a plant to assemble center fuselages for commercial aircraft in Quebec.

"We have developed a critical mass of leading-edge expertise in the latest aerospace manufacturing technologies required for the development of next-generation aircraft and their promise of maximum performance at minimum cost," said John R. McDougall, president of the National Research Council of Canada.

"This collaborative research agreement with Aerolia will harness this expertise, turn research and development needs and ideas into technology-based solutions, and help enhance Canada's aerospace position on the world stage."

Aerolia Chief Executive Officer Christian Cornille said the framework accord "will give us the ability to get the best from NRC's expertise and will ensure long-term collaboration for the main benefit of Aerolia Canada."

Additional details were not provided.

The German Aerospace Center and Dassault Aviation of France also entered into an accord for aerospace research.

In a joint declaration the two said their efforts will be focused on the areas of flight physics and flight control.

"I am pleased that we are collaborating with another partner of the European aeronautics industry," said Johann-Dietrich Worner, chairman of the DLR executive board. "Cooperating in various ways with industry strengthen DLR's position as one of the leading aerospace research institutions in Europe."

The chief executive officer of Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier, said, "Dassault Aviation has developed from many years fruitful relationships with the Aerospace Research community and this agreement with DLR will strengthen our role in innovative aeronautical projects in Europe to prepare the future."

In addition to the areas of flight physics and flight control, DLR and Dassault are also looking into joint research activities to investigate the laminar-to-turbulent flow transition around winglets, the attachments on the wingtips that reduce fuel consumption.

The initial collaborative agreement between DLR and Dassault Aviation, two main players in research and industry, is for one year.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration had an announcement of its own at the Paris Air Show. Its Langley Research Center has joined the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

The move will create opportunities for joint participation in research and development of new surface engineering technologies and manufacturing systems.

The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing is a public-private partnership between dozens of industry partners and the University of Virginia, Virginia State University and Virginia Tech. Industry members include Canon Virginia Inc., Chromalloy, Newport News Shipbuilding, Rolls-Royce, Sandvik Coromant, Siemens, Sulzer Metco, Aerojet, Hermle Machine Co., Mitutoyo, TurboCombustor Technology Inc., Buehler, Cool Clean Technologies, GF AgieCharmilles, and Blaser Swisslube.

"Throughout history NASA Langley has been a pioneer in innovation," said Armand F. Lauzon Jr., chairman of the CCAM board. "With its vast expertise and guidance, and the CCAM industry partners' manufacturing and technology leadership, we are poised for new developments in the core CCAM areas of manufacturing systems and surface technologies.

"These developments will have broad ranging impacts critical to NASA and industry, including the ability to strengthen composites and fortify alloys and metals, and improve manufactured fuselages, space vehicle equipment, satellite components and other equipment."

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