Up to now the vast majority of the actual building has had to do with the fuselage and wing structure. The systems team has been focusing mostly on requirements, design, and procurement. That all changed last week when the systems team installed the first wire bundle into the wings!!!
Building an airplane involves an awful lot of steps – not just to build it, but also to figure out what is going in it. While many home builders have to do all this themselves, with the help every now and then of a couple buddies, we are fortunate enough to be building this with 40 people and 7 mentors. As such, we needed to come up with a system that allowed as many people as possible to work on the airplane at the same time, or pick up the next day where one group left off. Read on to see how we’re divvying up the tasks.
Let’s say you are hosting a dinner and you are trying to figure out what to serve. You would probably make a menu. A roast perhaps, maybe a salad, some tasty garlic bread too. From this menu, you would make a list of ingredients to pick up from the store. A pork tenderloin, garlic, herbs, lettuces, carrots, etc.
Figuring out airplane systems is no different. Our menu is the Design Requirements and Objectives (DR&Os), and it answers questions about airplane capability: Should we be able to fly the airplane in visual conditions only, or do we add instruments to be able to fly in clouds? How far should it be able to go? How much redundancy should it have? The answers are the DR&Os and they are our menu. You can check them out on the last post.
But we still need ingredients to make the items on the menu, or systems components to fulfill these requirements. That’s where the systems design comes in. The systems we purchase and design have to meet the requirements we decided upon.
We broke up the majority of our systems design tasks into 4 major airplane systems: avionics and instrumentation, cabin, electrical, and fuel systems. Click on the link below to check out our preliminary design. It includes a mostly accurate picture of what we will be getting, a high level of how things will be connected, and the trajectory we’re taking.
EDIT: After going through the detailed design phase we made a few changes to the systems and as such I have edited the presentation to reflect that. They are relatively minor but worth sharing 🙂 – Miguel
So this is a post that I started working on in May before we forgot about the blog and didn’t post for 4 months hehe.
In late May we finalized ALL of the requirements for the airplane. They included everything from cabin interior, to avionics, to fuel systems, etc. Fortunately we have an excellent team of mentors that we sent all of our requirements to and got a lot of good feedback from.
Photo courtesy of Joshua Lee
‘Cause we did. Although we have admittedly not been particularly good about keeping the blog up-to-date. So now that the fall weather has begun to make itself known throughout the Pacific Northwest, it is as good a time as any to start writing some updates.
Just because it was sunny outside does not mean we weren’t busy laying up fiberglass plies, specifying systems components and continuing our build. Because we were. And we’re going to be giving you some updates to what has been happening in and around the shop here shortly.
A couple of days ago the fuselage team completed the important step of bonding the firewall to the fuselage. This was a very work-intensive process that began almost as soon as we got the kit and will only be completed when several reinforcements ribs are added to the assembly. read on for more details about what the firewall does and how we built it.
Last Thursday the team reached a major milestone in the process of building the airplane – we closed out the horizontal stabilizer. The two main team members that worked very hard at making this happen are Chris Foster and Tony Tan. Read on for a little more detail on what they did.
As tasty as that sounds this full rack of ribs is a little different; it’s a wingful of ribs. We have been working hard on all of the ribs for the wing for the past month. Last week we reached a major milestone, we installed all of the rib foam cores into the wing.
If you happen to find yourself behind the Boeing firewall, head on over to the Boeing News Now Special Features section and check out Early career engineer group undertakes two-year build, certify and fly project for a great article and video about the project. You may remember them visiting the shop not long ago.