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Aerospace Machining: Keeping Us Up In the Air

by:Bofeng     2020-05-17
Imagine yourself sitting in an airport. Actually you're not just sitting, you're waiting - and you've been doing it for hours. Apart from hearing the periodic chatter of the airport PA system, the only other sound you can count on hearing until you're safely in your seat is the constant complaining of other travelers. 'What's taking so long?' 'Why is there such a delay?' 'I'm never flying this airline again!' But think about it, especially that last statement, 'I'm never flying this airline again!'. The very fact that we're flying is amazing! Never in a million years did our earliest ancestors think we would one day be able to climb into a large winged contraption, lay back, and fly across the ocean in just a handful of hours, let alone go to space. But what exactly makes it possible? Of course, there's physics, lift, thrust, and aerodynamics - and they all deserve their time in the spotlight, but this time let's focus on something that doesn't get enough attention: aerospace machining. From the jets you see at an air show to the jumbo jets that carry us around the world, Aerospace machining makes it possible for aircraft to get you where you're going faster than ever. Aerospace machining is all made possible by CNC (computer numerical control) machining, which is an entire article (or book) within itself. The CNC machines frequently used in aerospace machine shops include lathes, milling machines, plasma cutters, water jet cutters, high speed drills, and much more. For the sake of simplicity, it all pretty much boils down to the fact that CNC gives increased control to the high precision and high accuracy machines needed to give form and function to aerospace and aircraft components such as jet engine parts, airframe components, and much more. Over the years, machine tool manufacturers have constantly innovated the level of precision, speed, and accuracy required for aerospace machining. In addition, machine shops have worked with designers and pushed the boundaries of what's possible when it comes to smaller, lighter, and more durable components with the tight tolerances needed for critical components such as engine parts. When you think about it, the science of flight is literally and figuratively over our heads. It's hard to explain! But one of its many aspects, aerospace machining, works to reliably give us the gift of flight virtually whenever we want it - allowing us to travel quickly and safely wherever we want, even outer space (well, sort of). So next time you're sitting in an airport, thinking to yourself 'What on Earth is taking them so long?!' think about how much goes into the plane you're (hopefully) going to get on and maybe even marvel at just how amazing it is that you can sit back, read a book, and fly. When you land, thank the rapid progression of aerospace machining and engineering for getting you there safely through more precise and effective aircraft parts.
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