Boeing: High-Speed Test Lab


This is the fastest vehicle
development environment known to man. And that’s really valuable
for Boeing. And it might not be obvious
because one company is building a car, we’re building
aircraft and satellites. But they have some really good overlap. Boeing and Lotus F1 Team have
been working together in additive manufacturing since 2005. Additive manufacturing is building
parts directly from 3D data– 3D printers as they commonly known. There’s no tooling involved. Additive manufacturing starts from the
bottom up and grows the parts layer by layer by layer by layer by very selectively applying energy to a material. So, this is an air flow detail
on the Lotus F1 car. The challenge there then is how
do you get reinforcement to go in all different directions? We figured out a way to take our
recycled carbon fiber from Boeing production and then integrate that
into the materials, such that when we spread the material into the
machine we have fibers going in all different directions. We found that we can make a better part
like this by using additive manufacturing. And we know that the mechanical
performance is uniform in all different directions and locations
of the build. On an F1 car they put all these
aerodynamic details in the car to generate a lot of down force
to keep the car on the track through some really tight cornering
maneuvers. And on our aircraft we’re using
aerodynamic elements to generate lift. It’s a big difference when you’re
going around track at 200 and some miles an hour, getting bounced
at 5Gs side-to-side for 2-3 hours on end. That’s five times the force
of gravity worth of acceleration that is applied to the driver in
every single component on the car just by going around the track. That kind of testing would cost us
just a tremendous amount of money to simulate. And these guys do it
every week. Every year the Lotus F1 team produces
a new car and they work at just an amazing pace to react to the
demands that they have in racing. And we get the chance to actually
test these things out a lot faster than we would normally home
because Lotus F1 team’s product development cycle is so fast. As engineer I think 30% of your
job is to worry. And then the balance of that hopefully
is curiosity. And one of the things that both
Boeing and Lotus F1 team get to do is we really get to challenge
physics. We really get to push against
nature to go faster, to go cleaner on all sorts of different fronts. When you look at that car and you
know it’s been influenced even just a little bit by some of the
work that you’ve put in, that’s tremendously satisfying.

27 thoughts on “Boeing: High-Speed Test Lab

  1. I think it's great to see the major aircraft companies like Boeing partnering up with F1 teams. It improves both side's R&D, it's good for the fans, and the passengers of both types of production.

  2. Boeing realized that we need environment friendly and efficent powerplant for our new generation aircrafts. Now its time for GE and pratt & Whitney to work on such powerplant.

  3. Speaking of cars,Lamborghini jointly developed the bodywork of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento with Boeing,being a revolutionary blend of carbon fibre and plastic.

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