The Atoms of the Aerospace Industry

Google plus announced it. Facebook allows it. And sumsung galaxy S4’s camera has it as a standard feature.. Animated gif’s are back on the web.

And I couldn’t agree more as the post on How to create a quick gif in Matlab? is getting quite a lot of hits these days. So here’s one more animated gif for anyone and everyone who is interested to re-learn the nomenclature of a gas turbine blade.

Gas Turbine Nomenclature

Gas Turbine Blade Nomenclature

It’s a gif version of the powerpoint that I created sometime back.

And if you are wondering about the title of the post, you should read this….

Thermal Barrier Coatings in Gas Turbine Engines

My colleague was saying this the other day. In todays time, if one wants to learn about some subject, there is no shortage of material on the web.

So very true.

So if you want to learn more about gas turbine thermal barrier coating, then the videos by the national academies at are awesome.

Thermal Barrier Coatings in Gas Turbine Engines: The role of Fracture of Metal/Ceramic Interfaces Part 3
by The National Academies

This videos are lectures delivered by Prof. John W. Hutchinson of Harvard University.

April is the cruellest month and 3 hat-tricks

April is the cruellest month, said the famous poet T.S. Eliot.

But for Indian aeronautical engineers, April 2012 will go down as a great month, says the Chief of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Dr V.K. Saraswat.

The reason is a hat-trick achieved by the country’s aerospace community. The launch of Agni V, the longest range ballistic missile, followed by the placing of RISAT-1 satellite in orbit and finally, the success of the naval version of the Tejas (LCA).

These events have clearly demonstrated the maturing of technological and industrial capabilities in these areas

From: Thebusinessline

Aero engines of the 21st century: evolution or revolution?

Volvo Aero magazine asked this question to Vincent Garnier Vice-President Research and Technology at Snecma on engine development.

Your presentation at ISABE 2011 in Gothenburg was entitled “Aero engines of the 21st century: evolution or revolution?”. Which will it be?
Continue reading

Winglets – Hype or Science

winglets hype or science

Airinsight’s post Winglets a triumph of marketing over reality inspired me to dig deeper .

And i found this good pdf titled understanding winglet technology [PDF]. Very good and easy to understand for a non technical person.

Have a read, 7 pages of simple explaination of the winglet technology. Worth a read if you are interested in airplane technology.

Winglets – Hype or Science

winglets hype or science

Airinsight’s post Winglets a triumph of marketing over reality inspired me to dig deeper .

And i found this good pdf titled understanding winglet technology [PDF]. Very good and easy to understand for a non technical person.

Have a read, 7 pages of simple explaination of the winglet technology. Worth a read if you are interested in airplane technology.

One Look is Worth A Thousand Words

I was watching this Ted video titled Yup i built a nuclear fusion reactor . Just after the video there was a promotional content for 2 minutes. The promotion was for some investments firm and it presented some facts on water shortage.

That presentation on water shortage was so wow. I was inspired.

I wanted to do something like it.

The post on reasons why so many Indian aerospace projects are delayed was fresh in my mind and that became the fodder for my experiment.

Here’s the result.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well the PowerPoint clearly states the points more memorably. But this effort of mine isn’t even 1% close to the water shortage presentation. But i am sure you will agree a picture is worth thousand words.

This water shortage PowerPoint will continue to color all my future presentations!

Not able to see the pictures, click here

Reasons behind Delays in Indian aerospace programs

Following are 5 indian aeronautical and aerospace projects that are delayed in time and exceeded estimated cost.

1. Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Phase-II
2. Naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA, Navy), Phase-I
3. Aero-engine Kaveri
4. Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) System
5. Long Range Surface- to-Air Missile (LR- SAM)

The following are some of the reasons for delay in completion of the above projects:-
(i) Ab-initio development of the state-of-the-art technologies.
(ii) Technical/technological complexities.
(iii) Non-availability of infrastructure/test facility in the country.
(iv) Non-availability of critical components/equipment/materials and denial of technologies by the technologically advanced countries.
(v) Enhanced user’s requirements or change in specifications during development.
(vi) Increase in the scope of work.
(vii) Non-availability of trained/skilled manpower.
(viii) Extended/long-drawn user trials.
(ix) Failure of some of the components during testing.
(x) Technology Denial Regimes.

This information was given by Minister of Defence Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Dr. K.P. Ramalingam and Shri Upendra Kushwaha in Rajya Sabha today.


The reasons 3,5,6 and 8 are almost as if Mr. A K Anthony is talking about my teams projects. 😉

Most Popular Programming Language of Aeronautical Graduates

Inspired by the last post Popularity of programming languages,  I wanted to do my own survey on what language aeronautical graduates of India are coding in.

Luckily i am part of a ongoing campus activity for aeronautical graduates, which gave me access to some data.

So here’s the result.


The sample size was 186.


C is the clear winner with 73% of the respondents using it, while java, which was the first  in the Popularity of programming languages survey, was used by 3% of the respondents.

Since majority of the specialization was avionics domain, so the bias towards c is understandable.

Was surprised that just 22% have used Fortran, considering 90% of Aerospace/Aeronautical/Engineering code is in that language.

Cyber attacks on military aviation and aerospace establishment

Do you know?

F-22 Raptor owns about 1.7 millions of line of codes , an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter about 5.7 millions and a Boeing 787 Dreamliner about 6.5 millions.

Sourced from this great post at on increasing cyber attacks on military and aerospace establishments.

For instance an F-22 Raptor owns about 1.7 millions of line of codes , an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter about 5.7 millions and a Boeing 787 Dreamliner about 6.5 millions. Everything with some built in code may be exploited, therefore, with plenty of code and much current and future vulnerabilities, one may not rule out a priori that these systems will be targeted with specific tailored or generic malware for Cyberwar, Cybercrime, or even hacktivism purposes.

As the post argues, with more codes powering the aerospace and aviation machines, the threat is only increasing.

It was interesting to see no of lines of code behind various aero machines.

Head over to theaviationist for the info-graphics!!

Aerospace’s new age alloy- Aluminum Lithium

In aerospace industry, it’s clear that weight is a variable everyone want to drive down.

And most efforts in this regards goes to getting newer materials and alloys.

In this light, I am following development of aluminum lithium.

A couple of days back one of my favorite aviation blog had a post on this very material. You can read the full post here.

Here’s an extract on aluminum lithium alloys from the post.

  • Lower the weight of an airplane by up to 10% vs. composite-intensive planes;
  • Lower the cost to manufacture, operate and repair planes by up to 30% vs. composite-intensive planes, and at significantly lower production risk;
  • Allow for a 12% increase in fuel efficiency, on top of the 15% from new engines; and deliver passenger comfort features equivalent to composite-intensive planes, such as higher cabin pressure, large windows and higher humidity.
  • If you are interested in this aluminum alloy which is increasing seeing uses in aircraft including the Rafale and space shuttle external tanks, read this PDF report.

    And if you are interested in a short history of composites in civil aircraft then click the link below.

    History of Composites in civil aircraft [PDF]

    The Birth of Rafale – Integrated Design of Advanced Fighters Lecture

    BirthOfRafale Although so many days have past since Dassault Rafale has tentatively won MMRCA, the mother of all tenders.  And ever since my twitter and Google reader feed is overwhelmed by reports and news on Rafale and Typhoon. Constantly reading so many posts,reports and analysis on this.

    Today morning when nothing new turned up, I headed to Google. And Google led me to this pdf from the year 1987.

    The pdf contains a lecture by Jean-Claude Hironde, Rafale program manager on design optimization for a family of multi role combat aircraft.

    Rafale plays as the central protagonist in this fascinating report. The technical report uses design of multi-role combat aircraft design process as an example throughout the lecture.

    It’s essentially a technical talk about the conception of Rafale, gives you an insight on what were the various design decisions made by the engineers when Rafale was still on paper. Fascinating stuff, if you don’t mind the rough, illegible  scanning job.

    Must weekend read if you are interested in combat aircrafts!!

    The Birth of Rafale [pdf]

    Comparison of Aircrafts in Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition

    The Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) Competition, commonly known as the MRCA Tender, is an ongoing competition to supply the Indian Air Force with 126 Multi-Role Combat Aircraft.

    The Defence Ministry has allocated  42,000 crore (US$9.28 billion) for the purchase of these aircraft.

    Six aircraft were bid for this multi-billion dollar contract, which has been touted as India’s single largest defence deal ever. These represent some of the latest combat aircraft being developed or fielded today.

    So I thought of seeing what’s the technical merit of all these aircrafts. Which is the best?

    Taking the data available in public domain, i tried analysing which aircraft will make it.

    Here’s the data and graphs 

    Aircraft: Rafale Eurofighter Typhoon Fighting Falcon Super Hornet JAS 39 NG(IN) Fulcrum-F
    Dry Thrust: (kN)







    Maximum payload: (kg)







    Max Speed (mach)













    Service ceiling (m)







    unit cost (US $ million)







    Max takeoff weight (MTOW):














    Country of origin:

    France Germany/Italy?spain/UK United States United States Sweden Russia











    And finally the cost


    Was GE F414 a Right Choice?

    GE F414 beat EJ200 to power LCA. After getting the news, I did a back of the napkin and I think with GEF414 India has a winner.

    With all performance parameter superior to EJ200, i think, with the lowest bidder, GE F414 is the right choice.

    There maybe other factors that might have tilted the balance to GE’s favour. GE 404 was the test engine used in LCA for now and GE414 with 30% more thirst with similar size might have added weight to this engines selection.

    So what is the consequence of this?

    At 650 million dollar for 99 engine with 91 to be assembled in India through technology transfer, the deal is huge and clause of getting more 59 of them. One factor against EJ200 might have than it’s not built by one company.

    Will it affect the MMRCA?
    I  feel that maybe this latest development will tilt the deal in the favour towards US’s super hornet as IAF will have to deal with one firm for it’s needs. But there is also an issue of over reliance on US based companies so it might tilt towards the European/Russian companies to keep a balance.

    Whatever be the case,  just like this time, Indian govt will have to strike a balance!!