Women have been a part of the Exotic Metals Forming Division from the inception of the organization. In the company’s 50+ year history, women have and continue to serve in manufacturing, engineering, operations, leadership, and executive-level positions. Exotic's commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace creates an environment that fosters innovation and delivers on the promise of the best solution for customers.
Women's History Month and International Women's Day
March is Women's History Month, a celebration of women's contributions to history, culture, and society. International Women's Day is a global celebration of women's economic, political, and social achievements observed annually on March 8.
Exotic is celebrating the achievements and contributions of women by highlighting narratives from employees about a woman who inspires them. These are powerful messages of inspiration that we want to share with the world for International Women's Day.
"Amelia Earhart. She was the first woman in history to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Her accomplishments were built off hard work, dreams, and a solid passion."
— Bekka, assembler, when asked which woman in cultural history most inspires her.
"It's challenging, but it’s made me a better person in a lot of different ways. That’s what I love most about what I do – experiencing my own growth as well as the growth of the people around me."
— Tandi, supervisor, her thoughts on being a woman in a leadership role.
"I'm inspired by my mother. She taught me that hard times can be overcome and losing battles can be won. She taught me the value of helping myself."
— Linh, assembler, remembering her mother who continues to inspire her today.
"The conversations are still real today to help our daughters and the women around us know that the boxes may be there, but they should still push, they should still grow, they should still lean into the calling to fulfill their potential and do what only they can do in the community around them."
— Ernie, general manager, on breaking through barriers.
"During a one on one with a supervisor a few years back, he said, 'Do you know that you have knocked down walls and inspired others to want to do more?' and I said 'Really? I guess I never thought of it like that.'"
— Heidi, machine operator, reflecting on the realization that she can inspire other women in the industry.
"The Suffragettes. Because they moved us forward."
— Margaret, human resources, sharing her appreciation for the activist organization that fought for women’s right to vote in public elections.
"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." — Georgia O'Keefe."
"When I consider that statement in the context of the barriers she faced, it is even more powerful to me, and a great inspiration to us all."
— Teri, training director, sharing a quote from her cultural history icon.
"I chose this path for my profession because it was something I could take pride in. Knowing that I can program my machine to check any given tool is a great feeling of accomplishment."
— Michelle, CMM operator, reflecting on her path to becoming a CMM operator.
"It's exciting to look back and see powerful women blazing trails. It's something that will continue to inspire my girls and propel them into a future where they can do whatever they put their minds to."
— Shasta, safety manager, reflecting on influential women who have helped pave a strong future for young women.
"My advice to other women is: Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart. You are your own limit."
— Sunshine, welder, giving advice to other women aspiring to be in her field.
"My daughter has continued to be the one inspiring me rather than the other way around. I could easily write a novel about what my daughter means to me, what she has accomplished, and continues to accomplish. Now I get the joy of watching her blossom into an independent young lady."
— Damon, supervisor, reflecting on being a father to a daughter in today's world.
"I often think about what I would tell my younger self. I would say 'you are enough, you can accomplish your dreams and anything you set your mind to.'"
— Jenny, lean engineer, reflecting on advice she shares on being a woman in today's society.
In 2015, Parker Hannifin launched its first business resource group to assist in changing the representation and inclusion of women in the company's workforce. Named Peer W, the group supports the recruitment, development, and retention of women at Parker. Peer W has chapters throughout the globe and more to come.
Exotic and Parker are proud to celebrate Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day, and recognize the women whose contributions built a solid foundation, the present-day achievements, and the women of tomorrow who will build future success.
This article was contributed by the Human Resources Team at Exotic Metals Forming Division.
1 Mar 2021
There is growing, perhaps booming, commercial investment in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles that will serve the new urban air mobility (UAM) aerospace market. Upstart and established companies are in a race to develop platforms that can bring about an age of civilian, commercial, and military mobility that enables users to break free of terrestrial limitations and move freely about the sky.
Many aircraft for the new UAM market are in development independently, with large and small aerospace companies reaching out to our experts. Thermal management is a specific technology in demand where Parker Aerospace has deep experience and is now helping multiple UAM companies.
The United States Air Force recently launched the Agility Prime program, a “a non-traditional program seeking to accelerate the commercial market for advanced air mobility vehicles.” The program will enable the more rapid development, testing, and certification of eVTOL platforms – which Agility Prime calls “orbs” – for both civil and military use. The applications that Agility Prime cites for orbs include logistics and sustainment, medical evacuation, firefighting, disaster relief, search and rescue, and humanitarian relief operations.
Going beyond its car-based ride-sharing beginnings, Uber is engaged in the civilian and commercial side of developing eVTOL aircraft – and the required infrastructure for aerial ride sharing – through its Uber Elevate team. Its aircraft development efforts are underpinned by strategic partnerships with several leading aircraft manufacturers. Recently Uber Elevate was acquired by competitor Joby Aviation with a goal to leverage the work of both companies.
Further, eVTOL aircraft development is independently underway with a number of the world’s biggest names in aerospace.
Transporting people with these vehicles creates a new mode of transportation that will connect between commercial air travel and automobiles. Yet moving goods with eVTOL vehicles, even with unmanned drones, may have a larger impact on our society. Cargo delivery drones require the same engineering and the same regulatory conditions, without people, however with the conventions needed and infrastructure to support regular flight. Widespread implementation of delivery drones will prove the systems and processes needed for like vehicle power management, communication, landing locations, and support infrastructure.
Among the propulsion systems being considered for eVTOL applications, distributed electric propulsion (DEP) has emerged as the likely configuration for UAM applications. DEP relies on multiple electric motor-driven rotor-type propulsors distributed across the aircraft to provide vertical lift, thrust, and flight control.
Though DEP system-equipped vehicles will take advantage of the maneuverability afforded them by the technology, DEP systems pose unique challenges for the heat management of the electric motors, electric controllers, and battery packs necessary for their operation.
The electric motors that drive the multiple rotors are arrayed around the aircraft, located in proximity to the rotors. These motors variably generate heat as they perform their propulsive duties, creating a need for effective thermal management to ensure optimal efficiency and motor life. Reducing weight is an important benefit of electric motors. Besides being environmentally friendly, the system for an electric motor has a dramatic weight reduction compared to traditional hydraulic motor systems. Lighter aircraft changes the flight profile and how the aircraft flies, allows for more passengers/cargo and provides more flexibility for other aircraft systems.
Electronic controllers are required to provide the digital commands that govern rotor speed and position, which enable an eVTOL’s ability to climb, descend, and navigate in airspace. These digital controllers take full advantage of the ongoing advancements in semiconductor manufacturing that permit more and more computational power in smaller footprints, giving rise to higher heat levels and heat densities that must, in turn, be removed from the controllers themselves.
The battery packs that provide the electricity needed to power the motors generate heat as energy is released for use by the aircraft. There is significantly higher power demand placed on the batteries at takeoff and landing, which results in a variable thermal management requirement across the vehicle’s flight profile. The aircraft’s thermal management system must be responsive to this variability.
Systems approach to eVTOL thermal management
The key to successfully managing the heat generated by DEPs lies with a thermal management system (TMS) with the ability to collect heat in one location then transport it to a place where it can be safely rejected or dissipated. Such systems consist of three major elements:
• Heat collection components – such as liquid flow through cold plates or liquid-cooled enclosures
• Transport components – consisting of pipes, hose, connectors, and pumps
• Heat rejection/dissipation equipment – Heat rejection or dissipation equipment, or heat exchangers
• Controllers to coordinate and manage the system entire thermal dissipation of the system
Designing an efficient and size, weight, and power (SWaP) solution requires access to a wide-ranging portfolio of components and subject matter experts experienced in fluid and thermal management. A previous blog article from the Parker Aerospace Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division’s thermal management team details the criteria for selecting a thermal management system supplier.
“Because SWAP is such a key challenge with an airborne end use, thermal management needs to be a common design feature of every component and sub-system in electric or hybrid-electric aircraft.”
— Michael Humphrey, business development manager for thermal management solutions, Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division of Parker Aerospace
It should be noted that heat density and precise location that needs to be the primary focus when assessing an entire thermal management system. Frequently, heat “spreading” – or a reduction in thermal density – is the first stage of creating a solution. Many materials and control components are capable of operating efficiently at extreme temperatures. Thus, reducing thermal density may allow a passive solution, such as heat dissipating into a large thermal mass, to be employed. Other TMS challenges include:
Thermal management has widespread impact across these vehicles, integral with other technologies such as:
The thermal management team at the Parker Aerospace Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division offers proven thermal management system-level experience developing solutions for demanding environments, including applications for advanced defense and intelligence gathering systems employing technologies that create exceptional thermal density challenges.
“With the DNA of an engineering-focused problem-solving culture, Parker’s TMS team offers the ability to optimize system performance with SWaP-focused solutions while maintaining aircraft safety, applying Parker’s full understanding of the needs of the regulatory authorities. Contributing further to this is Parker’s corporation-wide strength in the areas of materials – including composites – and the availability of subject matter experts to address any aspect of engineering at the component and sub-assembly level.”
— Michael Humphrey, business development manager for thermal management solutions
As the development, testing, and certification of eVTOL platforms accelerates, so too will the demands placed on the thermal management systems needed for these exciting vehicles. As a proven TMS solutions provider, Parker is looking forward to assisting its customers in meeting these coming challenges, helping to bring about a new age of civilian, commercial, and military air mobility.
As a trusted partner, Parker's team members work alongside customers to enable technology breakthroughs that change the world for the better. We help our customers and distribution partners meet the newest standards for safety or emissions, reduce power usage, improve efficiency, and move faster to optimize resources. 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 Jeff Melzak, engineering manager for thermal management solutions, Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division of Parker Aerospace.
22 Jan 2021
There are many types of bearing greases for aviation wheel assemblies. Here, we will examine the four main types of bearing grease used by Parker's Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division, an industry leader in the design, manufacture, and support of superior braking systems since its founding in 1936.
Safety is the first step
1. Be sure to always use eye protection and rubber gloves when cleaning repacking or handling bearings.
2. Also remember to never mix any two bearing greases together because it may result in premature failure of the bearing.
3. Always replace bearings as a set cup and cone.
Types of greases
The four types of bearing greases used by Parker Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division are:
Cleveland Wheel and Brake technicians and service guides and general maintenance manual calls out to specifications mill PRF81322 and D O D G245088.
SHC 100 Mobil aviation grease
The first of the four greases we will explore is SHC 100 Mobil aviation grease. This grease is synthetic and provides a high dropping point. It has excellent resistance to water wash, and it is an outstanding protector against wear corrosion and high temperature, which can be damaging. And finally, it is red in color.
Aeroshell grease 22
The Aeroshell grease 22 is a versatile multi-purpose grease for aircraft wheel bearings. It is recommended for general anti-friction bearings operating at high speed and at high or low temperatures, this grease is brown in color.
HCF grease P/N 605 (amphibious)
The HCF grease P/N 605 is an amphibious grease. It provides protection against the corrosive action of fresh water, salt, water, and chemical fumes. It maintains lubricating film under adverse conditions of load and torque, and it is dark brown in color.
OMNI waterproof grease number 2 (amphibious)
The fourth grease is the OMNI waterproof grease number two, which is also an amphibious grease. This grease acts as a rust preventative protecting bearings seals and open gears against costly wear. It repels fresh or salt waters. This grease is green in color.
Now, watch the training video
This blog was contributed by the Aerospace Technology Team, Parker Wheel & Brake Division.
16 Dec 2020
Exotic Metals Forming founder, Don Lindsey, had overheard a conversation in the Boeing lobby regarding the failure of titanium sheet metal flanges on the 727 aircraft. Being the consummate salesman, he recognized this as an opportunity to utilize a manufacturing process that would revolutionize the forming of sheet metal parts. As a result, the process of axial-load bulge forming, which began out of Mr. Lindsey’s garage in 1963, has led to nearly one million square feet of manufacturing and a long-standing history as a world leader in the manufacture of sophisticated sheet metal fabrications.
The humble beginnings of Exotic were founded on a relationship with The Boeing Company. Exotic soon realized that diversification would be the key to growth and longevity in a rapidly changing industry. The first military endeavor came in 1972 with the Teledyne Harpoon parts. As the economy began to improve, the 1980s showed great promise; yielding contracts for the B-2 Stealth Bomber Exhaust Liner, various other military work, and Exotic’s first exposure to what would become another foundational relationship in Pratt & Whitney Aircraft.
The end of the 80s introduced a major production line project with the award of the Boeing 757 environmental control systems (ECS) program in 1988. Continued growth with Boeing into the early 1990s would include major programs such as Vacuum Waste Tubes, 777 Plug & Nozzle, and the development of the process to manufacture Exotic’s own titanium tubing; all programs and methodologies which are still in production today.
In 1994, Exotic forged a new relationship with the acquisition of Parker Metal Bellows. This relationship came full circle through Parker Hannifin Corporation’s acquisition of Exotic in 2019. Today there continues to be original Parker employees with Exotic from the 1994 acquisition, demonstrating a legacy of dedication and long-lasting leadership.
The longevity of Exotic in the Aerospace and Defense industry has been highlighted by numerous accolades. With multiple Boeing Company Chairman’s awards for Supplier of the Year, Exotic was the first-ever three-time consecutive recipient of this award. Additional awards include Airbus Aerostructures Supplier of the Year and the United States SBA Supplier of the Year. Exotic was the first company awarded the Pratt & Whitney Gold Supplier status, which has been held continually since 2004.
With all the achievements Exotic has accomplished, none of this would be possible without the employees and the culture which has stood the test of time. With the passing of Don Lindsey in 2001, Bill Binder took the reigns and continued to make the employees and the atmosphere in which they work the central guiding force of the growth which would continue for nearly two more decades.
Advancements in technology and methodologies have placed Exotic Metals on some of the most competitive programs in both commercial and military work. Defense programs such as advanced military fighters, along with various other military programs, have diversified Exotic into the lasting aerospace manufacturer that exists today.
At Exotic, there is great pride in the fact that everyone in the Exotic family strives to be the best at what they do every day; working as a collaborative team to stretch the bounds of creative thinking and provide quality products to our customers around the globe. While Exotic had many suitors throughout the years, it was Parker Hannifin Corporation which proved to be the best fit for the employees and the culture within Exotic. In July 2019, the acquisition of Exotic was announced and a new relationship of building for the future has begun.
This blog was contributed by the leadership team at Exotic Metals Forming Division.
11 Dec 2020
Aerospace technology has been applied to demanding industrial applications in order to gain performance improvement, increased efficiency, and longer life. Parker's technology innovation and development apply to check valves, manifolds, and switches for accurate control of flaps, rudders, and flight control surfaces in aviation. Applying the latest advancement to motion and control for gas turbine design within Power Generation plants, such as combined-cycle units, is helping to keep equipment running longer and more reliably. One example is electrohydraulic servovalves (EHSV). The advancement of EHSVs took off in the 1950s, largely due to the adoption of permanent magnet torque motors as the first stage (as opposed to solenoids). This resulted in greatly improved response times and a reduction in power used to control the valves. Parker Hannifin purchased Denison International and their Abex product line in 2003 to support our EHSV product solutions.
Why use JET-PIPE™ electrohydraulic servovalves on gas turbines
Power plant gas and steam turbine applications require precise control of their “fuel”, whether this is natural gas, fuel oil, or steam. These engines may also have a need for the actuation of inlet guide vanes (IGV) and fuel blending stop/ratio valves. Electrohydraulic servovalves enable a control signal to be converted to the precise movement of an actuator, which in turn will control the fuel valves or IGV.
One of the initial design objectives for servovalves was electrohydraulic control of flight control surfaces on aircraft. These demanding, critical applications resulted in designs that were close to fail-safe, with redundant coils
For the turbine system, the fuel gas control valve on an actuator is the primary interface between a complex control system and the mechanical part of the plant. Maintaining that link is a cornerstone for producing power.How an electrohydraulic servovalve works
The servovalve is comprised of two major parts: the valve, which is a precision, close tolerance, matched spool and sleeve; and the electrical force motor called a torque motor. Combining an electrical device (torque motor) with a mechanical device (spool and sleeve) with a mechanical feedback spring results in a servovalve that provides an output flow precisely proportional to the input current.
To achieve high precision in performance, exacting levels of manufacturing are required to assure the proper size and fit of the valve components. In service, the valve components must maintain their relative positions and condition to assure continued operation within requirements. Electrohydraulic servovalves as seen in the schematic below are two-stage, with a servo control portion on top and a hydraulic portion below. The control portion on top is the electrical actuation that moves the jet-pipe within the servo. The bottom portion or second stage is the hydraulic control which manages the downstream actuator position and opening/closing of the gas or steam valves, inlet guide vane position, or stop/ratio valve.
A contemporary four-way servovalve is illustrated in Figure 1 This unit is shown in the neutral or null position. Supply pressure is applied to the pressure port and to the jet-pipe (usually one common supply connection). Jet-pipe flow is directed into a flow divider or receiver. In the null position, flows and pressures are equal in the passageways leading to the ends of the spool, thus there is no net force pushing the spool in either direction.
Upon application of an electrical signal to the torque motor, the armature deflects (as shown in Figure 2), causing the jet-pipe to displace and direct the jet flow into only one of the two receiver ports. The flow into one receiver passageway acts upon one end of the spool, causing the spool to move. The spool movement results in one cylinder port being opened to the supply port and the other cylinder port being opened to the return port.
As the spool moves it acts upon the feedback spring, which in turn pulls the jet-pipe back over the receiver null position (illustrated in Figure 2). This balance between input current, spool position, and feedback spring force results in a particular flow to be passed for each particular input signal to the servovalve. When the polarity of the input signal changes, Flow from the other cylinder port results.
Servovalves are used to accomplish many tasks. Most commonly they are mounted on linear or rotary actuators so that they will transform the electrical command signal into linear or rotary motion output of the actuator. Quite often this concept is used for position control of a machine platform.A clean system can prolong servovalve life
Current trends in power plant utilization often demand numerous starts and stops of the turbines, and maintenance intervals are being extended as long as possible. These operating parameters have resulted in electrohydraulic control system oil contamination (particulate and varnish formation). Dirty EHC system oil may then cause critical use servos to become sluggish and even fail, tripping the plant off-line.
Parker’s JET-PIPE™ servovalve design offers performance advantages over traditional “flapper style” servos. With only one larger 0.008” diameter control orifice when compared with a flapper servos five 0.002” orifices, the Parker servovalve orifice is more difficult to plug with contaminated oil. The JET-PIPE™ servo, if plugged, will not fail in a manner that results in the downstream actuator fully extending or retracting. This type of uncontrolled movement of the turbines control valves would result in a trip or even damage to the engine.
Like most hydraulic system components, all servovalves like to be used with a fluid free of excessive particle contamination as well as a reasonable chemical composition to avoid chemical erosion. It is difficult to generalize in describing how clean a system should be due to the great variance between requirements with different applications.
One guide that can be generally used is document AS4059, published by SAE International. This document, titled Aerospace Fluid Power - Cleanliness Classification for Hydraulic Fluids, classifies varying levels of contamination. Servovalves have been found to operate quite satisfactorily in systems with a contamination level equal to, or below AS4059, Class 7, which corresponds to the following:
In terms of filtration, a well-maintained system with filtration of 10-micron nominal and 25-micron absolute has been found to be satisfactory in most applications. Fluid chemical composition should be monitored as well as the fluid and system manufacturer recommendations followed to maintain the proper chemical composition.
Two other areas should receive particular attention.
On new system start-up, flush the system thoroughly prior to the installation of servovalves. Defective servovalves with very low operating time are sometimes returned after having been installed in a new system. These units are often found with jammed spools due to trapped chips, weld slag, plastic tape, etc. This system contamination was built into the system between the filtration and servovalve and probably could have been removed by prior flushing.
When an element of the system has a failure that is suspected to have caused the generation of contamination, flush the system and service the filtration system.
Making the case at Marcus Hook Energy Center
Premature failures of electrohydraulic servovalves (EHSV) on fuel control valves were causing headaches and consuming maintenance budgets for the team at Marcus Hook Energy Center. Originally owned by NextEra and operated by Florida Power & Light, the fleet manager of this 790 MW combined cycle operation reached out to Parker for help in finding a solution.
Each of the three GE 7FA.03 turbines was running 6,200 hours per year on average with 210 starts. The expected service life of the OEM-supplied fuel control servos was 32,000 hours but they were failing every six months (3,100 hours) and cleaned, repaired, or replaced at every other outage. The flapper style EHSV's were supplied as OEM equipment from GE.
Leading with aerospace technology solutions
Parker’s JET-PIPE™ electrohydraulic servovalve with decades of success in flight control systems for commercial passenger planes and military fighter aircraft was selected for a side-by-side test and evaluation. A total of twelve Parker JET-PIPE™ electrohydraulic servovalves were installed.
Improves turbine availability and reliability while extending the service life of servos on critical engine control applications
Contamination resistant, erosion-tolerant, designed to last
GE Specification 312A6077
Dirty hydraulic fluid and varnish
Dirty hydraulic fluid and varnish are two primary enemies of EHSV’s. GE's Lube Oil Recommendation Document GEK32568K discusses lube oil varnish formation and the negative impact on turbine availability and reliability.
Particulate (dirt) contamination in an oil system is the result of the oil physically breaking down, wear of components that are exposed to the oil stream, or external contaminants that wind up in the oil. Particulate formation in a hydraulic system that supports servovalves is a concern, as servos have very small internal orifices, as well as extremely tight tolerances between the hydraulic spool and sleeve (sometimes as tight at 0.00004”).
Varnish formation, as a result of moisture, acid formation, thermal and chemical degradation, can also greatly affect the operation of servovalves. Varnish can clog supply pressure filter, build up in low flow areas of the servo, and slow or stop the second stage spool from moving when commanded.
The condition of system fluid at Marcus Hook is especially demanding. A fluid analysis was not allowed but visual inspection of oil from an open port in the image above shows signs of contamination.
Design prevents clogging
Parker JET-PIPE™ technology is far less prone to contamination, a key advantage in power generation “dirty” environments. Parker EHSVs offer a first to second stage gap that is four times larger than that of the nearest competitor. The unique jet construction enables most designs to receive and pass particles as large as 500 microns without malfunction. By allowing larger particulates to pass through the system, Parker EHSVs can then use a coarser filter that helps prevent clogging of the filter assembly in a dirty fluid environment. Plus Parker EHSVs offer 75 percent pressure recovery and neutral fail-safe capability.
Parker JET-PIPE™ servos are also designed with strong resistance to varnish and pollutants and have the unique ability of "failure return to zero" and "fault safe." Meaning that it is trip resistant as the valve will move to a null position rather than a hard-over failure.
Three years of operation without incident save thousands of $
After 19,000 fired hours, 520 starts, and nearly three years of operation without incident, a single Parker JET-PIPE™ servovalve was removed for testing and analysis. Laboratory results document that the Parker JET-PIPE™ was within new performance requirements.
NOTE: The OEM valve had to be serviced six times.
As of December 2019, the Parker JET-PIPE™ EHSV’s have over 60,000 hours of trouble-free operation and no signs of weakening.
Marcus Hook Energy Center has saved thousands in repair costs and hundreds of man-hours in avoided maintenance.
The Parker JET-PIPE™ is fully approved by GE for heavy-duty gas turbines and has been added to GE specification 312A6077 under a long term agreement with Parker.
Made in the USA at the Parker Aerospace Control Systems Division in Dublin, Georgia, JET-PIPE™ is a “drop-in” replacement for existing OEM EHSV on fuel control valves making changeouts quick and simple.
Article contributed by
Jim Hoke, market development manager, Parker Hannifin, Power Generation, North American Power Generation new construction business development. Works with plant/project owners, as well as associated Engineering / Procurement / Construction companies on technical and commercial topics.
Tom Ulery, business development manager, Energy Team Parker Hannifin, North America Wind industry. He has many years of experience in hydraulic valves, as the applications manager for Hydraulic Valve Division.
Tim Bryarly. project engineer, EHSV project engineer, working in EHSV design, new product development and product support, Parker Aerospace, MFCD.
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8 Dec 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, former 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 and chief technology and innovation officer for Parkers, 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 and chief technology and innovation officer for Parker
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.
29 Oct 2020