The Latest Aerospace Innovations

Aircraft now have the potential to fly higher, faster and more efficiently than ever before. In just the last year we have seen innovations in enhanced gliding capabilities and new fuel usage, with other clever developments in aerodynamics and safety, where silicon rubber extrusions have a part to play.

The Latest Aerospace Innovations

Gliding High

The Airbus Perlan Project aircraft Perlan 2 recently reached a staggering 26,000 feet in altitude and stayed airborne for more than five hours in a single flight. Researchers hope this aircraft will help them to explore the ozone layer and collect more accurate climate data.

Their goal is for the aircraft to smash the 50,727-foot world gliding record set by the founder of The Perlan Project, Einar Enevoldson, in 2006, by ultimately reaching an altitude of 90,000 feet over Argentina. Ultimately, they are looking to reach 100,000 feet to explore the Northern Hemisphere polar vortex.

Perlan 2 currently flies high using its 84-foot wingspan and the powerful stratospheric waves that occur over mountain ranges.

The Return of Supersonic Flight

With the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet co-designed by Airbus, passengers will be able to travel at speeds approaching 1,000mph. Restrictions regarding sonic booms occurring over land may be circumvented as its speed of Mach 1.2 means the boom would not reach the ground.

Flexjet recently placed an order valued at $2.4billion for 20 of these aircraft, which are scheduled to enter service in 2023.

Delivering Broadband with Huge Wings

Facebook’s mission to bring broadband to remote areas has led to the development of a solar powered drone with a massive 137-foot wing span. The social media company hopes that Aquila, as the drone is named, will eventually break the world record for the longest unmanned flight by having the capability to stay in flight for months at a time.

Although its initial test flight in June saw the aircraft stay in the air for longer than expected, a “structural failure” occurred on landing. More test flights are planned for the future.

Clean Flying – A Zero Emissions Plane

Germany’s DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics have developed an experimental aircraft powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and a lithium battery. If the hydrogen used is generated with electrolysis using renewable energy, the HY4 aircraft can operate while generating no emissions at all. It has twin-fuselages and seats four people, with a motor output of 80 kilowatts, a maximum speed of approximately 200kmh and a cruising speed of 145kmh.

Innovations such as these promise exciting times ahead for the aerospace industry and for Advanced Materials, as our bespoke silicone seals will become critical in these applications.

We have the ability to manufacture bespoke silicone rubber extrusions in flame retardant grades that meet critical standards within the aerospace industry, including FAR25.853(a) & NF F 16 101. View our datasheets for more information.

This material is suitable for producing tight tolerances on rubber profiles, rubber seals, gaskets, tubing and cord within the aerospace industry.

To see how we can help you with the silicone rubber solutions you need call our technical team on 01903 713566 or email