For over a century Parker Aerospace has been an aerospace industry leader both as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and provider of aftermarket repair, maintenance, and overhaul (MRO) services. Within Parker’s Aerospace Group, Customer Support Operations (CSO) provides centralized support for aftermarket business on behalf of the other eight aerospace divisions. CSO is dedicated to keeping aircraft fleets continuously healthy, around the clock and around the globe.
For decades CSO has earned recognition for providing systems-level expertise and engineering insight with high-quality components and industry-leading service. This is made possible through CSO’s dynamic culture of smart, ethical, and dedicated people serving aircraft operators daily. In recent decades this work has become increasingly digital and CSO’s efforts have been recognized by customers with great approval.
Responding to the needs of aircraft operators, CSO key offerings include:
Since aircraft manufacturers and operators have established procedures over the last century, there has been concern about transitioning from manual to digital interactions without interrupting operations. Parker Hannifin offers digital ordering through our proprietary tool, PHconnect as well as other systems or aftermarket platforms. With the industry moving towards digital B2B interaction, the impact of COVID-19 highlights the need for more digital collaboration.
In February, CSO launched a Repair Location Finder to expedite the repair process. This platform has been well received and future upgrades are planned. For the next step in the process, CSO is working with Parker Hannifin and the other aerospace divisions to provide an upgraded order status system that communicates with customers during the repair process.
This past spring, CSO launched a warranty claims process where airlines can submit online claims for repairs.
Top scores in customer service from the aerospace MRO market
In July, the findings from the third annual Air Transport Aftermarket Customer Satisfaction Survey identified Parker Aerospace as receiving the top score in airline customer satisfaction among maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) mechanical and electrical suppliers worldwide. The Satisfaction Survey is independently from Parker, conducted by Inside MRO, Air Transport World, and AeroDynamic Advisory.
Of the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) ranked, only seven logged strong satisfaction scores. On a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the highest, those OEMs are:
The complete survey results and winners can be found in a recent webinar, Aviation Reset: Flight Path Forward, featuring MRO Top Performers: Strategies for Leading Customer Satisfaction. The panelists will discuss the increasing importance of customer engagement, how that is changing as airlines prioritize cost savings and efficiency, and maintaining excellent customer relations through mergers, acquisitions, and industry consolidation. Register here to view the webinar.
This survey was conducted from mid-February to mid-May, with 185 qualified responses, including 62 unique airlines from around the world. OEMs were ranked in the following categories: ease of doing business, product reliability, technical support, parts cost, parts availability, aircraft-on-ground (AOG) support, OEM repair cost, OEM service center performance, overall satisfaction, and likelihood of recommending them to a peer or colleague.
Parker Aerospace improved year-over-year scores in ease of doing business, technical support, OEM repair cost and OEM service center performance while also receiving the highest overall satisfaction score for mechanical/electrical suppliers in 2020. Most of the industry continues to show low net promoter scores (NPS) scores, like overall satisfaction, and Parker’s NPS score has remained high among peers.
“Parker Hannifin has been putting a premium on customer service in the last several years, which seems to resonate with its customer base. It has expanded its in-region support—including inventory pooling centers in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia as well as repair capabilities. It also opened 24/7 customer response centers in Irvine, Calif. and Singapore.”
— Lee Ann Shay, chief editor MRO, Aviation Week Network, July issue of Inside MRO
The survey report also explains that Parker Hannifin Chairman and CEO Tom Williams established a net promoter score index called likelihood to recommend (LTR).
“Customers are asked about their experience after every significant business transaction. Customers who have good experiences hold a greater appreciation for the overall value offered by Parker and actively promote our brand. They are more likely to have a strong interest in new product offerings and product improvements, and to consider broadening their business with Parker.”
— Austin Major, group vice president for business development & customer support, Parker Aerospace
Parker’s leaders and business units are measured on the LTR scores, which Major says have steadily increased every year since the program’s inception. Parker Aerospace has a division dedicated to serving aftermarket customers, called Customer Support Operations (CSO), which represents all of the aerospace technologies across Parker’s Aerospace Group. Customers are surveyed with transactions that are manual and digital, plus an overall relationship survey, so that issues can be quickly identified and resolved.
Known as a systems provider with more than 100 years of experience on nearly every major aircraft that has flown, Parker Aerospace is uniquely qualified to provide aftermarket aircraft support. Parker360 is the promise from CSO to keep fleets continuously healthy, around the clock and around the globe.
The division’s global Customer Response Center is waiting to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and our support network is ready to help aircraft anywhere in the world. Parker CSO assists customers using intelligence and analysis to maximize the health of aircraft anywhere and in every time zone.
How aerospace elevates Parker’s Purpose
Parker Aerospace and CSO maintain a strong cultural philosophy that originated with Art Parker himself as detailed in a 1930’s speech to employees.
“Our success is founded on fair dealing, hard work, coordination of effort,
and quality products.”
— Arthur L. Parker, Parker founder (1917)
In this respect, the CSO division is an excellent example of Parker’s Purpose brought to life every day. The organization employs some of the most experienced people in the industry who are trustworthy, accountable, ethical, dedicated, and individually have impressive pedigrees working on specific aircraft platforms.
The scope of technologies and the quality of products from Parker Aerospace is unmatched in the industry. As a trusted partner, Parker's CSO team members work alongside customers to enable technology breakthroughs that change the world for the better.
This article was contributed by Victor Jorcyk, vice president of commercial aftermarket, Parker Aerospace Customer Support Operations.
26 Oct 2020
In the last decade, fuel tank inerting systems have transcended from a niche market of military aircraft into wide scale proliferation on commercial airliners. In fact, almost all commercial airliners have a fuel tank inerting system onboard, many of which include systems and components supplied by Parker Aerospace. These systems reduce the flammability risk inside the fuel tank by supplying an inert gas into the space above the liquid fuel. These systems rely on a source of pressurized air, typically engine bleed air, to provide the feed stock for the inert gas.
As the airframers of commercial airliners move away from bleed air systems and toward more electric aircraft in the future, an opportunity is presented for a fuel tank inerting technology that does not rely on high pressure air. Moreover, this same inerting technology could be applied to other aircraft in which bleed air is in limited supply or unavailable altogether, such as military rotorcraft, small commercial transports, and business jets.
This opportunity is setting the stage for the next evolution in fuel tank inerting systems: catalytic inerting. In 2016, Parker Aerospace and Phyre Technologies, Inc. signed an exclusive agreement to develop Phyre’s patented ullage-recirculating catalytic inerting technology for aerospace applications. Since that time, Parker has been actively developing the system and its components for high performance, high durability, and low weight. Significant advancements have been made in the development of the catalytic reactor, condenser and other components. At the same time, Parker has grown its testing infrastructure and analytical capabilities to support a full-scale program.
Fuel tank inerting systems perform the critical function of reducing the flammability potential of the mixture of gases in the ullage space above the fuel in aircraft fuel tanks. Catalytic inerting advances fuel tank inerting technology beyond the current applications, in which inert nitrogen gas is generated from high-pressure engine bleed air inside of an air separation module (ASM).
Read our previous blog post that discusses how catalytic inerting technology differs from today’s traditional ASM-based method.
Most contemporary commercial airliners use engine bleed air for many purposes ranging from cabin pressurization and environmental control systems (ECS) to anti-icing, water and hydraulic system pressurization, and ASM-based fuel tank inerting. While an ASM-based inerting system uses far less bleed air than the ECS and anti-ice systems, the extraction of bleed air from the engine results in decreased engine efficiency. The larger engines of a typical commercial aircraft have the capacity to supply bleed air for these subsystems; but other aircraft types – helicopters, turboprop-powered transports, business jets, and newer more-electric aircraft – have less bleed air to spare.
A primary benefit offered by catalytic inerting technology is that it requires no engine bleed air. Circulation of ullage gas through the system and back to the fuel tank is provided by a low-power consumption electric blower.
The blowers and other electrically powered components in the closed-loop catalytic fuel inerting system call for only a modest amount of electricity. Although the electrical power required by the system is supplied by the engine generator, the relatively low power consumption of the catalytic inerting system results in less parasitic power loss to the engine than ASM inerting systems. This is a principal reason why catalytic inerting is ideally suited for aircraft applications where there is little or no engine bleed air available, especially rotary wing aircraft and more-electric commercial aircraft.
The demanding missions that helicopters fly – whether military or commercial – require the aircraft to have available as much power as possible. By eliminating the need for engine bleed air to drive fuel tank inerting, catalytic systems directly support the need for greater range as well as higher payload and takeoff weight.
A catalytic fuel inerting system is largely self-contained and can occupy a smaller envelope than its ASM-based counterpart. These features enable a catalytic inerting system to be neatly packaged as a line-replaceable unit (LRU) and facilitate ready integration within the airframes of both new helicopter platforms and existing ones. Furthermore, the general shape and positioning of helicopter fuel tanks enables close coupling of the catalytic inerting system with minimal external plumbing and structure.
As part of its future vertical lift (FVL) modernization efforts, the United States Army is developing its Future Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) and Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) programs, targeted to be operational before 2030. Parker’s catalytic fuel inerting systems is ideally suited to such applications.
“Our development program for catalytic fuel inerting systems is proving that the technology will be a viable option for future aircraft programs, especially vertical lift platforms. We are looking at all options to successfully bring this technology to the marketplace.”
— John Hayden, business development director, Parker Aerospace Fluid Systems Division (FSD)
Parker Aerospace engineers have been maturing catalytic fuel inerting by iteratively proving and improving the technology. The Parker team is working to reduce system complexity, increase component durability, and fine-tune the catalytic reactor for maximum performance and life - all while keeping a close eye on procurement and maintenance cost targets.
Stay tuned to the aerospace blog for updates to the Parker Aerospace vision of the future for aircraft fuel tank inerting systems.
Leading with purpose
After more than a century of experience serving our customers, Parker is often called to the table for the collaborations that help to solve the most complex engineering challenges. We help them bring their ideas to light. We are a trusted partner, working alongside our customers to enable technology breakthroughs that change the world for the better.
Follow Parker Aerospace on LinkedIn and keep up with the latest products and technologies Parker is developing for flight control, hydraulic, fuel, fluid conveyance, lubrication, and pneumatic systems.
This article contributed by Bryan Jensen, senior principal engineer, Parker Fluid Systems Division.
21 Oct 2020
Designing new products, and new categories of products, often involve solving problems that have not previously been confronted. Sometimes, we don’t know what we don’t know. So, it’s important to work with people who can ask the right questions and help bring together the critical pieces of a solution.
Companies like Uber already know how to efficiently move people by car from point A to point B in crowded communities. But they don’t know as much about urban transportation by air, which many see as the future of commuting, and a viable way for people to avoid traffic congestion on the ground. Uber Elevate is looking at electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft as an affordable way to decrease commute time while eliminating fossil fuel emissions and noise pollution. This is a new market within aerospace called urban air mobility (UAM).
UAM travel takes companies beyond current core competencies and into unknown territory. It forces engineers to think differently about commuting and find solutions to problems they could not anticipate in giving flight to a new type of aircraft. Parker Aerospace’s Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division (GTFSD) is in a unique position with an extensive pedigree to support companies as they develop the first generation of UAM aircraft.
Parker’s experience designing thermal management (TM) solutions for U.S. military aircraft includes aerospace coolers (e.g. heat exchangers and liquid-cooled chassis), single- and two-phase liquid cooling solutions with cold plates, cooling pumps, and liquid-filled enclosures, which are likely technologies to be transferred into the development of electric aircraft used for urban mobility. Experience with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other federal agencies could also save companies time and expense meeting regulatory and other government obligations.
Sophisticated electronic systems used in defense applications are creating significant increases in power densities on various military platforms. Many of the leading TM technologies in use today reside within one-time-use missile systems. However, other emerging military applications on aircraft, ships, and submarines add more layers of complexity to TM applications. They often have multiple pieces of heat-generating hardware in close proximity to each other, requiring greater levels of heat dissipation and control over multiple uses.
Parker Aerospace is overcoming heat problems in military applications with new approaches in TM design. Several use fluids to manage heat. Single-phased cooling works by transferring heat through fluids only. Two-phased cooling turns fluids into gas, which is a more efficient way to dissipate heat. Both are used in closed-loop systems, meaning the fluids and gas stay contained. Parker has deep experience in both cooling methods.
A liquid-cooled enclosure manages heat at its source. Components completely enclosed in dielectric or similar fluids that don’t conduct electricity can safely function while the fluid absorbs and dissipates the heat from the components. Parker TM enclosures function as mechanical structures to protect sensitive electronics from shock, vibration, heat, and other environmental threats.
Heat rejection technologies also provide cooling with fluid in space-constrained environments, transferring large amounts of heat from fluids to surrounding air or to secondary fluids. Liquid-cooling technologies can be applied to chassis and other components, but also to entire systems within aircraft.
Another TM approach uses cold plates, which provide localized cooling of hot spots. These cooling solutions are suitable for power electronics and computing applications. For example, heat-generating circuit cards can be mounted on the face of cold plates. Where the circuit card touches the cold plate, the liquid is heated, moved, and cooled down with a radiator-like arrangement, which then returns cool fluid to the heat source. Like enclosures, cold plates could become part of a larger structure to add functionality. Imagine a heat exchanger that becomes a ring around the outside of a jet engine.
Read our prior blog article to learn more about thermal management in defense applications: Selecting a Thermal Management System Supplier for Aerospace and Defense
Parker’s experience outside the aerospace and defense industries can also benefit urban air mobility aircraft, an emerging market in the aerospace industry. The company’s large and diverse portfolio of manufacturing know-how in many industries is being applied to the challenges faced by UAM aircraft. Macro-laminate bonding TM (fusion bonding), two-phase evaporative cooling, and vacuum brazing all have benefits to offer TM challenges.
With conventional brazing, for example, it is difficult to make small passageways void of flux for efficient fluid passage, particularly if the geometries of the passageways are complex. But with vacuum brazing, the intermediate materials do not contaminate passageways. Fusion Bonding takes place at the molecular level and high aspect ratio microchannels are possible, completely free of residual debris.
SprayCoolTM technology is a technique in which liquid droplets are sprayed directly onto hot components. When the droplets evaporate, they take excess heat with the evaporated fluid. The liquid and vapor mixture can then be transferred to a heat exchanger where the vapor is cooled, condensed, and recycled within a closed system.
In the not-so-distant future, cold plates are expected to become more sophisticated for all-electric aircraft. Right now, the U.S. military is the leading customer for the next generation of cold plates being developed. New cold plates are expected to become more common in commercial applications. They will also see extensive use in the air mobility market. In addition, as commercial transports continue to evolve and become more eco-friendly, there will also be a need for cold plate technologies in commercial transports.
Parker divisions collaborate with many diverse customers and develop solutions that are unique and valuable to specific customer applications.
“Solving problems is sometimes achieved by using technologies of which customers are not aware of. Design and engineering expertise within a broad range of technologies offers Parker customers a wide array of options to pursue, which solve not only technology challenges, but also minimize risks, reduce carbon footprints, improve performance, and achieve other corporate goals.”
— Roy McEvoy, director of business development at Parker’s Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division
As a trusted partner, Parker's team members work alongside customers to enable technology breakthroughs that change the world for the better. Parker's Purpose is at the core of everything we do. Watch the introduction video with Parker's CEO Tom Williams.
This blog was contributed by Michael Humphrey, business development manager for thermal management solutions, Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division of Parker Aerospace.
8 Oct 2020
As advanced manufacturing factories gain importance, manufacturers must prioritize what benefits and supporting programs will prepare their factories to best meet the evolving needs of their customers.
The benefits of smart manufacturing facilities are immense.
Successful factories need a shared vision of achievable goals throughout the organization. They align their technology assets to benefit strategic business functions for OEM assembly, testing, and aftermarket needs. They collect and use the right data sets to support wise decision making that maintains high product quality and productivity. They educate the entire organization on what is possible.
At Parker Aerospace’s Hydraulic Systems Division (HSD), factories of the future begin with the design of their products, and the components they purchase to manufacture products. Products strengthened by big data not only help manufacture, process, and validate new products, but also track, troubleshoot, and maximize the entire life cycles of products.
Within HSD, Parker customers range from large aircraft OEMs to small businesses making one-of-a-kind machines. Meeting many types of progressive manufacturing objectives from customers means starting with a clean sheet of paper and re-imaging pretty much everything about the HSD factory and operations in Kalamazoo, MI.
Priorities at the HSD headquarters included accelerating the velocity of products through the facility through equipment optimization. With purchases of new, universal hydraulic test stands, the Kalamazoo facility will go from 83 tests stands to less than 40. The reduction in test stand configurations is changing from more than 70 down to just 16.
The new test stands are strategically deployed for optimum operational efficiency. They require less service than previous equipment and ease operator training burdens. In multiple cases, a single test stand that performs multiple tests replaces multiple tests stands. All common stands are now capable of running all part numbers.
Test stand configurations The reduction in test stand configurations went from more than 70 down to just 16. The new test stand configurations include:
Logistically, HSD products now move on a simplified, linear path through the Kalamazoo factory, which streamlines processing instead of bouncing products from corner to corner multiple times before they leave the building. Faster throughput speeds Parker’s ability to respond to customer needs. Overall, the HSD facility will reduce required floor space by 10,000 square feet. Fewer machines taking up less floor space also gives this HSD factory the flexibility to reconfigure the overall floor plan in the future and continually improve the flow of products through the plant to further increase efficiency.
The collection and use of data at many additional points in a product’s lifecycle are also improving Parker’s ability to meet and exceed increasing customer expectations. New types of data are collected before the product goes out the door, thereby establishing a digital “fingerprint” for each product.
“We integrate product data collected during manufacturing and acceptance testing into our new test stands, so when a product leaves our factory, we have a baseline ... If a pump were to come back from the field, we don’t have to go digging through paperwork to compare test and performance metrics. The product itself tells us its history via a cloud-based data storage and access.”
— Chad Vliek, engineering director, Hydraulic Systems Division
In aerospace applications, for example, Parker monitors parameters like pump temperatures and pressures to help predict when aircraft operators are likely to see a failure on an aircraft. Working in concert with Parker’s on-board predictive analytics, we can significantly reduce the operator’s unscheduled maintenance and dispatch interruptions. “When we connect a product to a new test stand and have all the data, it’s like a doctor listening to a heartbeat,” says Vliek. “It allows us to look inside, compare the data to standards, and diagnose much more quickly.”
Parker’s new test stands allow dynamic pump data to be saved from the test stands, creating a profile for the individual pump that can be referenced over time. When a component returns from the field, the saved test data can be referenced for comparison. The component-specific data also allows for insight into the overall part family or from changes to manufacturing processes.
Understanding what fails, why, and when, reduces needed inventory and the time it takes to return a customer’s product to service. Documenting big data also supports Parker Quality systems like AS9100 for aerospace and ISO 14001 for environmental compliance, enabling real-time statistical process control and continuous improvements on future products.
Becoming increasingly data-driven is linked to cost savings, quality improvements, and improved customer satisfaction. The proper collection, use, and management of data has always been part of the culture within Parker Hannifin. Today, we are working to integrate our digitized designs, operations, and quality inspections to provide a comprehensive dataset for each product we manufacture.
In recent years Parker has implemented a Likely to Recommend (LTR) process, also known as a “net promoter score,” across the organization to receive timely feedback from customers. The LTR process has been applied to manual and digital transactions, customers looking up specific support information online, requesting a general quote, and many other touchpoints across all Parker divisions. The sea of data provided gives valuable insight for analysts to understand and prioritize how to continuously improve the customer experience.
Change can be disruptive. So before change began at Parker’s HSD factory in Kalamazoo, the company held numerous Kaizen events to integrate “lean,” safety, and training considerations into the transformation process.
“We took equipment operators with us when evaluating new test stands,” explains Vliek. “We asked for their input and worked collaboratively.” Involving employees at this early stage created excitement for the new facility and helped people embrace the program.
Nearly every employee had opportunities for input. Some produced “value stream” maps. Others used PVC pipe and cardboard to simulate the new machines and create their assembly line of the future. By demonstrating the new operational flow through the factory, they improved assembly and testing processes.
Training employees on how to operate new test stands resulted in the largest benefit to HSD. Previously, Parker had to train each employee on 10 to 15 stands. Now, each employee becomes an expert in the operation of a single test stand. This one change will result in reducing employee’s test stand training time by 80 to 90 percent.
Worker safety also improved by moving to our universal test stands. Unlike old test stands, new test stands utilize full lockouts during operation and maintenance. Locked glass doors create a physical barrier to keep employees safe. Noise output is also being reduced.
With fewer, more efficient machines, HSD also expects to see reductions in energy usage and cost.
In some cases, HSD automated tasks with simple robots to improve safety (e.g., pressurization process). Other “dirty, dull, or dangerous” tasks are performed by “cobots,” to remove tedious and repetitive motion activities that lead to carpal tunnel and other medical/health issues. These and other improvements move the factory closer to our zero accidents and zero-defect goals.
Looking ahead, Parker will evaluate using vision systems for inspecting products and other automated equipment for aiding assembly. “Our quality inspections begin with materials received before we begin production,” says Vliek. “This technology and future investments will help us identify potential issues earlier.”
One such sub-tier product is steel barrels for Parker’s large 5,000 psi pumps. Parker has recently invested significant capital in advanced machinery to produce the steel barrels and another machine to apply bronze plating to the barrels. Maintaining barrel manufacturing and plating capabilities in-house as a core competency ensures our differentiated products remain competitive and of the highest quality.
HSD customers expect quality products. Investing in equipment, people, and process improvements reduces the opportunity for product variability. Using big data to prioritize improvement initiatives creates maximum quality and the agility to go beyond today’s expectations and achieve what is possible tomorrow.
This article was contributed by Matt Webster (left), business unit manager, and Chad Vliek (right), division engineering manager, at Parker Aerospace’s Hydraulic Systems Division.
24 Sep 2020
The use of composite materials for aircraft wing structures is steadily increasing. Lightweight and strong, they reduce weight, increase fuel efficiency, and are easy to shape, assemble and repair. Today’s advanced manufacturing methods help aircraft manufacturers build wings faster and more economically, which in turn, is increasing the demand for composites in the commercial aviation sector.
Composite material, however, is less conductive than the aluminum traditionally used in aircraft wings. This means that when lightning strikes an aircraft — a common occurrence, happening to virtually every plane during its service — mechanisms must be in place to mitigate its effect and protect critical equipment from combustion and damage.
In this blog we will explore:
To learn more about lightning-protection equipment requirements and new technologies, download our white paper, "Composite Materials for Aircraft Wing Structures Are Increasing the Need for Lighting Protection Equipment".
When lightning strikes, it usually makes contact at the fuselage, top and bottom of wing surfaces, and the tip of the vertical tail. A large amount of electricity is distributed over the entire surface of the aircraft. Without proper mitigation, energy can travel to fuel lines and create a dangerous arcing condition and potential explosion.
Aluminum, used in fuselage and wing construction, can readily conduct the electricity from the lightning strike. The current will move across the aircraft’s skin and pass back to the atmosphere. Composite materials do not possess the same conductive qualities. In order to take advantage of the benefits of composite materials, aircraft designers create and install light-weight metal mesh to a thick outer layer of fiberglass. This solution spreads the electrical charge over the aircraft’s exterior, away from combustible lines and components, and the interior carbon fiber body structure. Additionally, equipment is incorporated in order to mitigate the risk of arcing and combustion where sections of metal, joints and fasteners, for example, are connected to carbon fiber composite near areas of special concern, like fuel tanks.
Static dissipating tubes, also known as fuel and vent line isolators, play an integral role in controlling lightning’s energy flow. By allowing the fuel system architecture to have a resistance value higher than the outer composite structure, isolator tubes permit limited current flow to minimize arcing and allow static dissipation. Static dissipating tubes can serve as an extra safety measure for conventional metal aircraft as well.
As aircraft manufacturers increase the production of composite wings, lightning-protection equipment suppliers will need to streamline their productivity and invest in new manufacturing technology areas to add value for customers. Key areas of focus include:
Advanced robotic technology – can lower the costs and achieve zero defects for lightning protection equipment products while ensuring repeatability.
Additive manufacturing – also known as 3-D printing, reduces waste, speeds production, and enables designs.
Comprehensive testing services – must go hand-in-hand with the manufacturing process, beginning at the product development stage and continuing through the certification process.
Advanced simulation software – new software algorithms can precisely calculate load paths and lightning paths, helping aerospace engineers know exactly where to distribute composite fibers based on their strength and where to install connections and inline lightning dissipation components.
What to look for in a lightning-protection equipment supplier
Aircraft manufacturers should look for partners that can collaborate with them in driving innovation, lowering operating costs, and delivering high-quality products that ensure safe flight. When researching a business partner's history, consider the following:
Financial stability - can the supplier meet rapid prototyping and production needs?
Equipment effectiveness – are their solutions consistent with industry-standard design and manufacturing expectations as well as safety and certification requirements?
Test and validation capabilities – are thorough testing methods followed to assure readied commercialization?
Manufacturing acumen – can the supplier produce a repeatable quality product in a continuous improvement environment?
Reduced installation and purchasing costs – is the supplier focused on improving efficiencies and reducing costs that will benefit the aircraft manufacturer?
Internal research and development – what is the investment and focus the supplier has on product improvements?
MRO and engineering support – does strong aftermarket support exist? Is it globally available?
A track record of excellence – who are the supplier’s customers and will they make them available to you to assess their level of satisfaction with the supplier?
A commitment to sustainability – does the supplier see itself as responsible for maintaining focus on the environment and needs of society while realizing the growth of its business?
As the use of composites in the aviation industry continues to expand, lightning-protection equipment suppliers will need to ensure they can keep pace with demand. To be successful partners, they will need to invest in new manufacturing technologies such as advanced robotics, additive manufacturing, testing services, and simulation software to streamline productivity and add value.
About Parker Aerospace
Parker Aerospace is dedicated to the safety of flight and offers a comprehensive array of lightning-protection equipment that is fully tested to the most stringent commercial and military regulations for lightning, fire, and flammability. Parker's lightning lab testing engineers are active members of the SAE A-2 Lightning Safety Committee.
Watch this video and learn about Parker's on-site testing capabilities.
To learn more about lightning-protection equipment products, requirements and new technologies, download our white paper, "Composite Materials for Aircraft Wing Structures Are Increasing the Need for Lightning Protection Equipment".
Leading with purpose
After more than a century of experience serving our customers, Parker is often called to the table for the collaborations that help to solve the most complex engineering challenges. We help them bring their ideas to light. We are a trusted partner, working alongside our customers to enable technology breakthroughs that change the world for the better.
This post was contributed by Glen Kukla, engineering team leader, Parker Aerospace, Fluid Systems Division.
13 Aug 2020
The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sports and the highest prize in sailing. Although it has a colorful history dating to 1851, America’s Cup wind-powered racing yachts certainly aren’t old school: the boats use advanced light-weight materials, the latest in nautical design, and aerospace control technology to skim across the ocean’s surface at speeds approaching 50 knots. That’s 55-plus miles-per-hour for landlubbers and the ultimate challenge for the 11-sailor crews that navigate the sophisticated yachts.
Parker is no stranger to the high-pressure competition that fuels the America’s Cup, having supported U.S. teams as an official partner during the last America’s Cup and supplying parts for decades. Following the announcement on January 7, 2019, Parker Hannifin is teaming with a New York Yacht Club-backed entry from the United States called “American Magic.” Parker is the official control systems partner to bring the trophy home to America’s shore in the 36th America’s Cup in 2021. Parker and the American Magic Team will work together to develop and implement state-of-the-art systems for the team’s racing boats. Leveraging a portfolio of proven aerospace and industrial technologies, these systems will enable the advanced yachts with precise control of the lifting surfaces and the wing required to produce optimum performance.
"Parker is honored to be a part of the American Magic team and to build on our long history with the America's Cup. The motion and control challenges that are presented by this latest generation of foiling yachts are significant and relevant to those that we see in our core business. The opportunity to partner with some of the most talented engineers and athletes on the planet in the crucible of a world-class competition is a recipe for technology advancement, and hopefully some American magic."
— Craig Maxwell, vice president and chief technology and innovation officer for Parker
New monohull design developed under AC75 Class Rule
Teams will be racing a monohull boat designed under the AC75 Class Rule, which defines the parameters within which teams can design a yacht eligible to compete for the 36th America’s Cup. In addition to shared weight, mast, and sail specifications, the AC75 boats will feature a 75-foot monohull with a T-foil rudder and twin canting T-foils. The objective of this design is to allow the boats to accelerate sufficiently that their foils elevate the hulls from the water to navigate above the ocean’s surface, reducing drag and increasing speed.
The AC75 is a “one-design” vessel, meaning that all teams’ boats use the same design for the main structural elements. The teams can innovate and gain advantage at the system levels of the boats. That’s where Parker Aerospace comes in.
Parker motion controls to optimize American Magic’s performance
Putting 100-plus years of engineering expertise to work and applying a broad range of core technologies, Parker will integrate its controls, hydraulics, and actuators into a key motion and control system that helps American Magic boats achieve stability as each lift onto its foils and accelerates.
According to Mark Czaja, vice president of technology and innovation with Parker Motion Systems, a wide range of Parker products and system-level expertise will help the American Magic boat perform at its highest level.
“Working with the team's Official Innovation Partner, Airbus – with whom Parker already works closely on several commercial and military aircraft platforms – we are bringing advanced control technologies to the American Magic boats, refining the design of the control system and its components for the rigors of saltwater competition.”
— Mark Czaja, vice president of technology and innovation with Parker Motion Systems
Half-scale boat tested on the water in Pensacola, Florida
The New York Yacht Club American Magic team has built a boat to half-scale of a race-ready AC75 design. The 38-foot boat—known as “the Mule” to its sailors, designers, and shore crew—has undergone testing in the waters of Pensacola, Florida. The shakedown runs serve to train the crew and provide system-level data that will influence the building of the first full-scale American Magic boat. The first AC75 yacht should be in the water by the end of August of 2019. Data gathered from the first boat will inform construction of a second one; either of the two boats can be used in the Challenger selection events and, ultimately, the America’s Cup.
Challenger selection events to determine who will face Defender Team Emirates New Zealand
The 36th America’s Cup match will take place in Auckland, New Zealand, in March of 2021. Prior to the America’s Cup, American Magic will compete in the America’s Cup World Series (April 23-26, 2020) and the Prada Cup Challenger series starting in January 2021. These races build toward the 36th America’s Cup over March 6-21, when the competition leader will earn the right to face current cup defender, Team Emirates New Zealand. But there is much to do before that for American Magic—and Parker—to prepare for the next edition of the America’s Cup.
We’ll be blogging throughout the run-up to the America’s Cup race in 2021, keeping readers posted on Parker and American Magic progress toward winning the cup for America.
This post was contributed by Zack Cody, project lead and a member of the Parker Aerospace central engineering department.
22 Jan 2020