Hello, this is your captain speaking. Welcome aboard. All across the globe, roughly 100,000 planes take off and land each day. What can easily be taken for granted as a common form of transportation, the creation and flight of airplanes are one of society’s greatest achievements. Each day, planes allow us to reach new heights and distances and empower individuals to learn about cultures throughout the world.
The inception of air mobility can be traced back to Wilbur and Orville Wright, more commonly known in school textbooks as “the Wright brothers.” Considered some of the greatest pioneers and innovators in recorded history, the Wright brothers achieved the first powered, sustained, and controlled airplane flight in 1903. Just two years later, they built and flew the world’s first practical airplane.
Today, aircraft continue to evolve. Models have become more advanced in both speed and size, and manufacturers are increasingly looking to find new ways to support these advancements while being mindful of the carbon footprint being left behind. Businesses like Dassault Systèemes are dedicated to addressing these industry challenges head-on by embracing sustainable solutions that will propel the aviation industry in the right direction.
In the United States, Friday, Aug. 19 is designated as National Aviation Day. First proclaimed in 1939 by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Aug. 19 was chosen to honor the birthday of Orville, the younger of the two Wright brothers. Each year, National Aviation Day is a way to celebrate the development of aviation and reflect on where the industry is heading.
Advancement of the aviation industry is something we understand well here at Dassault Systemes. Born four decades ago out of a desire to find a better way to design planes, we’ve evolved along with the industry. Today, after decades of using our virtual modeling, new planes are all designed in 3D and tested in virtual worlds using 3DS solutions. And it’s not just planes: air taxis, helicopters, solar-powered drones, flying cars the size of SUVs – it’s aircraft of every kind.
In the spirit of National Aviation Day, we’re highlighting three incredible stories that showcase advancement in aviation and where the industry is heading.
Traveling by airplane often requires a lot of time and money. But what if you could fly on demand for the price of a train ticket? Israel-based Eviation Aircraft wants to make that a reality with “Alice,” a nine-passenger 100% electric-powered plane with a cruising speed of 240 knots. The team at Eviation utilized the 3DEXPERIENCE platform for its powerful work-from-anywhere collaboration capabilities and credited it for enabling them to develop an innovative airplane concept from the ground up.
“The aviation industry is probably one of the most difficult and conservative industries in the world,” said Omer Bar-Yohay, Eviation’s co-founder and CEO. “The amount of money you need to do anything is simply insane, so everything has to work right the first time. It’s difficult but entirely possible with the right solution.”
Electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, known as EVTOLs, are among the biggest trends in aviation. Vertical Aerospace is preparing to launch its first certified winged eVTOL. A huge win for sustainability, Vertical’s battery-powered aircraft is efficient, quiet and, most importantly, carbon emission- free. Their goal is to make an aircraft that is both significantly quieter than a helicopter and also less expensive to run and maintain.
As the product is being developed and refined, the Vertical Aerospace team is leveraging the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to meet its goals and targets.
“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform will help us to develop and share the critical steps of requirements, ensure we’re developing the aircraft according to those requirements, do validation and also manage the certification of the aircraft with the authorities,” said Vertical Aerospace Head of Engineering Eric Samson. “It’s a one-stop shop and single source of truth for Vertical Aerospace and our business partners that allows us to work concurrently wherever we are in the world.”
Solar Impulse co-founder and CEO André Borscherg had the ambitious goal of eliminating gas entirely from flying. In 2015, Borscherg and his friend and co-founder Bertrand Piccard achieved that goal with the Solar Impulse 2, their experimental plane powered entirely by the sun’s energy. The aircraft was designed to reduce energy consumption, improve performance, and take on long-distance travel.
The project’s co-founders chose Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform to design their plane due to their confidence in the technology being the best on the market.
“Everything is new with this airplane. It’s a complex project. Normally when building a new airplane you use existing engines, if you want to test new engines you use existing airplanes,” Borscherg said.. “But here the propulsion is new. The energy is new. The structure is new. It’s all so incredibly complex. Our technical advisor told us we were crazy to rely only on 3D digital software instead of building a physical mock up. But we had confidence in these technologies.”