Aircraft engines are the most crucial part of the Aircraft and a failure results in certain disaster for the plane and its passengers. While a lot of care is taken when an aircraft engine is designed, its checkup and maintenance is hefty work. Recognizing this difficulty, Rolls Royce and General Electric have manufactured a Snake like robot to that can perform a complex task of laser welding.
Rolls Royce is developing this technology and plan to complete it by early 2014.
This Snake will be around half inch in diameter and will be in the engine during flights and also on ground during maintenance run. Equipped with a laser welding lasers, UV lasers that can cause blade fractures to fluoresce and a grinder that can sand down and smooth out damage caused by stones and dead birds
An Aircraft engine, more technically called a Gas Turbine is complex machinery with stages of compressors and turbines and in between them pipe-like combustion chambers. All this packed into a small unit makes it an extremely complex device and when it’s time for its maintenance and repair run after each flight, you can imagine the complexity. Rolls Royce focuses to make this job easier and error free.
Able to bear temperatures of up to 3000 degree Celsius, this snake will be controlled by a technician to move about and repair damages in the engine. It will be more like a video game.
Currently Rolls Royce employs borescope technology to check engine parts inside. It is more like putting wire inside with a camera fixed at its end. This technology requires high skilled workers and furthermore it only CHECKS the engine, it doesn't repair them. The Robot will not only provide a clear view of the inside the engine but it will also do repairs as well.
Rolls Royce monitors 14,000 engines flown by 500 airlines on 4,000 aircraft worldwide and if you consider those stats, there aren't enough skilled workers and more importantly TIME to first use a borescope technology and check the engine and then disassemble it to perform repairs
Aircrafts are the fastest means of travelling in the world with long journeys merely completed in hours but it is also the most dangerous. While ensuring safety is important, making the process of ensuring safety more efficient is essential as well.