|Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 11):|
Still, I think the manufactures could do it much, much quicker and cheaper when given a deadline, and could still come up with competent aircraft like they could in the past.
I'm working as an intern for the summer for an aircraft parts supplier. This company is responsible for fabrication of aircraft components on a variety of programs...F-22 included. Currently, we are working on getting F-35 Lightning II
(JSF) parts out the door.
Let me assure you, with gee-whizz computer modeling (CATIA), and number crunching, the demand for perfection only increases. And of course, the computerization of the industry only adds to the complexity. This means engineers have to do more to ensure a quality, competative product.
Take the NC
group for example...they use Lockheed engineering models of JSF parts to write computer code for the NC
machines that will actually cut metal. And for some of these parts...that takes time, skill, and more time. A small change to the engineering model can completely throw an NC
program into disarry. Let's not forget that with the advent of CATIA, Solid Works, Pro-E, and other CAD/CAM software packages, the tolerances that we have to work with are shrinking.
Don't kid yourself...just because we've had powered flight for 103 years now, doesn't mean that designing an airplane has gotten any easier. Tight competition, customer demand, and advancing technology have made it challenging at best.
If you want a whizz-bang fighter like the F-22, you gotta have patience...lots of it.
And everything I just described are but a small taste of the challenges on the MANUFACTURING side alone. How about say R & D?
B4e-Forever New Frontiers