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Inside the Boeing Factory

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by meister, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. yjeezle

    yjeezle Senior member

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    that's so crazy... we have an airline repair factory near me and you can see that thing for 10 miles... it's huge. i can only immagine how big an actual plant is
     
  2. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    First airplane flight: December 17, 1903. Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird: First flight: 22 December 1964 61 ≠ five decades.
    True, but to be fair, the Oxcart project which ultimately culminated in the Blackbird was started in 1957. Anyway, it always blows my mind that they made those planes back then. It still seems like science fiction. Also, going through 13 major design iterations in 7 years is mind-blowing compared to the super-bloated schedules and budgets we have today. --Andre
     
  3. Pilot

    Pilot Senior member

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    What I always think of is that is the first SR-71 test flight was in the early 60s, what type of crazy shit do we have flying around now that no one knows about?

    There is a (I believe) PBS documentary about the latest joint strike fighter where the US gov gives Boeing and Lockheed 1bn apiece to build 2 aircraft. very fascinating documentary. Shows you how complex building an aircraft from scratch is.
     
  4. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    The Empire State is [​IMG] in terms of looks, I merely marvel at the engineering involved in doing all the math by hand. The Chrysler building on the other hand looks amazing, especially when you see its glimmering top shining on a sunny day.

    Not to rain on anyone's parade, but doing the math for a skyscraper built like either the Empire state building or the Chrysler building isn't all that impressive. They're not very complicated in terms of structural design, basically big tall steel beams with cross beams. The numbers involved are big, but the calculations aren't complicated. It's really just basic statics. Determining material requirements is pretty introductory in an engineering curriculum too.

    Not to mention the factor of safety- usually pretty high in civil engineering projects, and undoubtedly higher back then.

    Modern skyscrapers have gotten very, very complicated with all sorts of bells and whistles, but the empire state building and such really wouldn't have been all that difficult to design. You take previous skyscraper designs, scale them up, and adjust the size of the steel beams as appropriate.


    Now planes- a little different. The Blackbird is absolutely nuts. Critical moving parts (elevators don't count) make things much more difficult. Weight matters, airflow matters, and thanks to the speed that thing travels at, thermal expansion of your parts matters. Simply insane what went into that plane.

    Oh, another engineering tidbit: modern jet engines run at temperatures higher than the melting points of many of their main components, but the parts are grooved and airflow channeled so that while the engine is running hot enough to melt everything in it, the parts are being instantaneously cooled by the airflow.

    I tried to be an aeronautical engineer. I learned enough to know where my knowledge stops before flipping majors. There's some pretty damn impressive stuff out there, but you have to remember it's more about incremental progress than great leaps forward.
     
  5. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    [D]oing the math for a skyscraper built like either the Empire state building or the Chrysler building isn't all that impressive.
    Agreed.
     
  6. aleksandr

    aleksandr Senior member

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  7. mr.orange

    mr.orange Senior member

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    When I grow up I want to be an engineer.
     
  8. Mr Herbert

    Mr Herbert Senior member

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    When I grow up I want to be an engineer.
    IMPORTANT NOTICE: No media files are hosted on these forums. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website. We can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. If the video does not play, wait a minute or try again later. I AGREE

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  9. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Oh come now...[​IMG]
    Well, without the aid of a calculator ... it's impressive.
     
  10. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    When I grow up I want ...

     
  11. Syl

    Syl Senior member

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    The level of responsibility the assemblers have must be very high. It's like assembling multiple spacecraft, really. One loose wire and you kill a lot of people.

    There's a bit of redundancy to make sure that doesn't happen.

    Sadly, with aerospace stuff, there actually hasn't been that much new stuff in a few decades. Few people have mentioned the SR-71. Heck, it still holds records from 30 odd years ago. Unfortunately there's been very little work to make modern aircrafts faster. Nowadays it's all about fuel efficiency i.e. lower drag, lighter materials, better control surfaces etc.
    Heck, there's more search on making planes quieter than making them faster.

    Not saying there's anything wrong with the approach but the 70s was really the heyday of aerospace. We need another good cold war to get moving again.
     
  12. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    There's a bit of redundancy to make sure that doesn't happen. Sadly, with aerospace stuff, there actually hasn't been that much new stuff in a few decades. Few people have mentioned the SR-71. Heck, it still holds records from 30 odd years ago. Unfortunately there's been very little work to make modern aircrafts faster. Nowadays it's all about fuel efficiency i.e. lower drag, lighter materials, better control surfaces etc. Heck, there's more search on making planes quieter than making them faster. Not saying there's anything wrong with the approach but the 70s was really the heyday of aerospace. We need another good cold war to get moving again.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scramjet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramjet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-51A_Waverider
     
  13. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Well, its not just a matter of scaling things up. If only it were that simple.
    George, I'm recalling that you aren't old enough to remember slide rules -- other than, say, the bezel of a Breitling watch -- and punch cards ... am I right?

    Back when I took structures -- and lived in the town of Bedrock -- there were no sophisticated calculators -- well, not one that was affordable and/or portable -- and it was the slide rule or nothing. Then came the TI SR-50 and everything changed. Goodbye slide rule.

    Okay ... back to Boeing. I get to drive by that field quite often.
     
  14. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    George, I'm recalling that you aren't old enough to remember slide rules -- other than, say, the bezel of a Breitling watch -- and punch cards ... am I right?

    Back when I took structures -- and lived in the town of Bedrock -- there were no sophisticated calculators -- well, not one that was affordable and/or portable -- and it was the slide rule or nothing. Then came the TI SR-50 and everything changed. Goodbye slide rule.

    Okay ... back to Boeing. I get to drive by that field quite often.


    Curta baby!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    There is a (I believe) PBS documentary about the latest joint strike fighter where the US gov gives Boeing and Lockheed 1bn apiece to build 2 aircraft. very fascinating documentary. Shows you how complex building an aircraft from scratch is.
    I believe you're referring to the Nova special, and it's available on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/23356/nova...f-the-x-planes PBS also has a mini-site for it: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/xplanes/ I remembered feeling kind of sorry for the Boeing guys when they kept finding voids inside their CFRP wing: apparently the entire bottom of their prototype aircraft was CFRP, and the wing was an integral part of that structure.
    Sadly, with aerospace stuff, there actually hasn't been that much new stuff in a few decades.
    I disagree. Stealth is a huge advance, and computer-controlled planes (ie. planes which have computers to help them fly) are also a really big advance. --Andre
     
  16. Redwoood

    Redwoood Senior member

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    The complexity of today's planes or many other non-trivial constructions is mind-boggling but also somewhat depressing.
    In the 40s Germany managed to develop and mass-produce the world's first operational fighter-jet in just a few years... and there was a war going on at that time, too! (now, that's a good motivation, but it also drains a lot of resources)
    Not to mention the dozens of other German designs that were domestically developed and produced around the same time.

    Nowadays, they have to get together with the Brits, the Italians, and the Spaniards to build just the Eurofighter, and it still went over budget and over time, and they could barely afford it when it was ready.
    It seems the speed of progress in the physical world is following a logarithmic trajectory.
     
  17. Pilot

    Pilot Senior member

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    I believe you're referring to the Nova special, and it's available on Hulu:

    http://www.hulu.com/watch/23356/nova...f-the-x-planes

    PBS also has a mini-site for it:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/xplanes/

    I remembered feeling kind of sorry for the Boeing guys when they kept finding voids inside their CFRP wing: apparently the entire bottom of their prototype aircraft was CFRP, and the wing was an integral part of that structure.



    I disagree. Stealth is a huge advance, and computer-controlled planes (ie. planes which have computers to help them fly) are also a really big advance.

    --Andre



    Yeah that's the documentary. What sucks is that Boeing pretty much met all the requirements the gov wanted and essentially made a safer, cheaper design. The F35 just looked too badass for them to pick the Boeing, which resembled a guppy.
     
  18. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    Yeah that's the documentary. What sucks is that Boeing pretty much met all the requirements the gov wanted and essentially made a safer, cheaper design. The F35 just looked too badass for them to pick the Boeing, which resembled a guppy.

    Given the massive cost blowouts and delivery delays (years behind schedule), they're probably regretting going with the F-35 now...
     
  19. mr.orange

    mr.orange Senior member

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    IMPORTANT NOTICE: No media files are hosted on these forums. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website. We can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. If the video does not play, wait a minute or try again later. I AGREE

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    [​IMG]

    Will he live a normal life?
    No, he'll be an engineer.

    great way to start the morning.



    wth is this? LOL I supposed I just got rick rolled. [​IMG]
     
  20. L.R.

    L.R. Senior member

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    People should check out the documentary about the design competition for the F-35. Pretty cool stuff.
     

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