how bae is helping make the trillion-dollar jet fighter affordable
Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
Known as many things-overweight, underpowered, overpriced, etc-but plastic is probably the first.
But this description of the jet fighter that will be the backbone of the Allied air force in the next 50 years is actually a compliment, it comes from Cliff Robson, BAE Systems is the person responsible for manufacturing the contribution of the British defense group to the aircraft.
The plastic look of Robson (pictured left), F-35 senior vice-
BAE President, one of three Tier 1 partners at Lockheed Martin
Led project refers to super
His staff is committed to making parts for jet planes.
\"The parts we produce are two or three parts per thousand-the third in the thickness of human hair,\" Robson said . \" Who leads the work that will become one of the three major contracts of BAE in the next few years.
\"It is this precision that helps the low observable stealth cover work on the aircraft\'s shell.
Who built different parts of each F-
35 fighter planes this means parts produced by BAE mills from titanium-the company produces about 10 pcs per unit
The structure of 35 makes the rear fuselage and the rear wing aircraft very accurately assembled together, and there is no gap that can reflect back the radio waves, making the jet aircraft
But no radar.
This is a theory-although critics claim that the new technology will make stealth redundant, and that this aircraft does not match in the melee with the current fighter-it is F-for the time being-
35 is the forefront of aviation technology.
Stealth is only part of F -.
35 is the most expensive single defense project in the world with a budget of $1. 5 trillion (£960bn)
According to Robson, as of 2063, the programme was working on a baseline of 3,200 aircraft.
\"About $ Support, manpower, fuel, etc. \" Robson said . \".
\"The rest is development. ” Mock-ups of F-
The Samlesbury plant in BAE is surrounded by 35 s, and the development of the plant has rewarded BAE.
Production F-130 so far
35 s has been delivered, and the company has just completed a 200 rear fuselage at Samlesbury\'s factory in Lancashire, the company is in the process of increasing production from the current 40 vehicles per year to 170 vehicles in 2020. At £6.
For the fuselage section it offers, if 3,200 jets are ordered, the company will receive more than 20bn in revenue, before calculating the 5 pc of the value of each aircraft, its US department is responsible for manufacturing other systems for it.
Currently, the company has more than 3,000 people working on the aircraft, and Robson expects that number to double when production peaks.
It\'s not surprising F-
35 is a priority for BAE, which is working on projects in some of the world\'s most advanced manufacturing facilities.
But the work is not done for free.
The British government is ordering a short team --
Takeoff and vertical landing
Model of the 35B new aircraft carrier-invested 2bn for the development of the aircraft, and BAE spent 150 on the production facilities of Samlesbury.
\"When you see the investment back in the UK, it\'s cheap,\" Robson said . \" He refers to 25,000 jobs directly created or supported by the UK.
35 supply chain. A fleet of F-35Bs -
Will run from the new aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy, while critics have attacked what they say is the poor performance and delay of the aircraft, which is F-
The sky has reached its cost.
The current price of $130 per aircraft is untenable and must be reduced to $80.
This is the source of BAE\'s advanced manufacturing technology.
\"Systems and quantities will reduce costs,\" Robson said . \" He is referring to a time frame where production has quadrupled, but the number of employees has only doubled.
\"This is part of the\" affordability blueprint \"agreed by the US Department of Defense and contractors to halve costs.
\"There is no doubt about it,\" he said . \".
\"We know how we\'re going to do it, and we\'re doing it a little bit.
\"A visit to the Samlesbury factory floor highlights BAE\'s efforts to streamline production, although it is a sensitive environment that does not allow the use of cameras.
Part of F-
The manufacturing accuracy of 35 is less than the width of human hair opened in 2010, a machine workshop of 10,000 sq m, F-
Ground with titanium, filled with a soft hum, rather than a scream from traditional facilities.
Eight automatic milling machines can grind up to 3mm of the basic titanium block excess material to produce the parts, only three operators are monitoring the parts, and another pair of operators install specialized tools to remove the excess material
This number will rise as production increases, and others remove excess metal from finished parts from the main floor
Some come out of the machine, such as the giant Airfix kit that needs to remove the mounting material --
But it\'s almost surprisingly quiet.
If it is not because of the smell of lubricating oil and the overhead track system that provides new cutting tools to the machine --
It can take 90 hours to produce a single part, the hardness of titanium means that it takes only one hour per tool
It may be a computer server room, not a machine store.
The hardness of titanium means the tool to cut it, as shown in the picture above, the specialization of each factory is only one hour, and the BAE engineer works with the Swiss manufacturer Starrag to customize the design of a pair of milling machines, because there\'s nothing in the world that can do what they want.
\"The basic idea is outlined on a beer mat at a bar on the side of the road,\" said store operations manager Gary Rawlins . \".
\"This design is very advanced and has been licensed and is generating revenue for BAE.
\"The part that will enter F-through eye recognition35C -
\"This is version C, the aircraft carrier, you can see, because it\'s getting bigger and bigger \"-
Some 15 PCs currently produced deviate from the required high standards, says Rawlins.
However, he believes that the \"almost zero defect rate\" can be achieved by 2019, in order to meet the cost needs --cutting plans.
As he explained, an exterior wall is about to be removed to add another 5 thousand square meters to the store
Without stopping production
Asked that this is the most advanced machine store in the world, Rawlins is modest.
\"This is one of them, based on its system, accuracy and flexibility,\" he said, pointing to a plaque in the foyer and pointing out when the facility was open.
Of course, it is made of titanium and processed at home.
Across the road is the production line, the production of the machine workshop and the parts of other suppliers are assembled to the rear fuselage and tailstock, and then the final assembly is carried out in Fort Worth, Texas.
Robson said that the line is as close to the efficiency of car manufacturing in the aerospace sector-\"It\'s not like installing a few bolts, you can\'t install aircraft fasteners on a production line that moves every 90 seconds \"-
So instead, the line \"pulses\" once a week, and if a department is not ready to go to the next stage on time, the manager will ask some tricky questions. F-
35 Jon Evans, operations manager, said his staff thought it was professional pride to reach the production speed target, and one of the managers was Jon Evans, head of assembly operations.
Surrounded by posters detailing aircraft previously made as samlebury, F-35 and the all-
He pointed out the features of the production line, showing an important chart of the plant\'s productivity and objectives.
He said: \"Every Monday morning at eight o\'clock A. M. , we will pulse the line . \"
\"It\'s a proud thing for the staff not to have the last department ready to move them.
Most of the work in the factory is for smooth operation.
When the problem arises, a team of senior engineers sits in front of the factory to solve the problem.
\"Their average reaction time is 43 seconds,\" Evans said.
The production line is U-shaped in U-shaped, with horizontal tailboards built in, vertical tailboards built in, and internal plumbing and wiring looms installed in another area before they get married. The F-
35 line is more about assembling parts than assembling them together like in the past, the parts have to be \"assembled\" with holes individually in one part, then drill holes in the connected parts and then drill holes and fitting fasteners after the parts match-
\"Flying around\" in engineer slang \".
However, the accuracy of the components now means that they can be installed precisely, eliminating the delay.
\"These parts are more complex, but the complexity of putting them together is lower,\" Evans said . \" Increased loss of skills as the engineer\'s job is now assembly, which is offset by the skill gains gained when producing parts.
The temperature of the two samlebury facilities is exactly the same-
This means eliminating the expansion or shrinkage caused by different temperatures, helping to improve production accuracy.
\"In Fort Worth, the temperature is the same for a mile --
\"The long assembly building, and all the other factories that produce parts around the world,\" Robson said . \".
No matter where it is made, the fuselage part can match so precisely, which can prolong the life of the aircraft, because it eliminates unnecessary pressure caused by not being \"real\" at that time.
Cheer up: the only way to stop F-
35 The plan is to cancel the customer of it BAE depending on the supplier network of many components it uses in F-
But no company says it can\'t produce it.
In the scheme, however, cost reduction is critical, so it depends on a \"strong\" supply chain.
To make sure it\'s working first, it even leaves the company where it\'s not the biggest customer, and as Evans says, with demand for passenger planes growing, Airbus is \"cleaning up a lot of capacity more and more \".
With the production plan running until 3,200 jets in 2030, maybe just 2045 F-
35 de rejected its suspicions and received more orders, and the BAE is working on the plan in the long run.
\"The only thing that can stop us is the program being canceled,\" Robson said . \".
\"Working on this job is close to working for life.