Why are Aerospace Brakes Important?
Aviation has become synonymous with speed thanks to depictions in movies, video games, and other stories. There is no denying that speed is imperative for most forms of air travel. However, as important as speed is, there is something even more important: the ability to slow down. All the speed in the world is not worth anything if you can’t stop at the end of your flight. That is where the unsung heroes of flight come into play: the aerospace brakes.
What Engineering Considerations Need Made for Making Aerospace Brakes
Functional aerospace brakes are crucial when it comes to the building of a plane or spacecraft. However, even though they exist across the vehicle production spectrum, that does not mean all aerospace brakes are alike. Various considerations need to be made depending on certain factors.
Type of Aircraft
The make and model of the aircraft will determine the type of aerospace brakes necessary for a successful landing. A large cargo plane will need heavy-duty aerospace brakes to halt a massive aircraft traveling quickly. However, a fighter jet with a significantly smaller and nimble body will have different aerospace brake needs. The same can be true for all variations of aircraft, ranging from spacecraft to single-engine planes.
Even though all aircraft fly, the individual plane can provide service for various specific tasks. For example, small passenger aircraft can double as postal planes in certain areas. The plane’s determined use will make a difference in its outfitted equipment and, in some instances, the necessary braking apparatuses.
Different materials may be required when manufacturing brakes for any aerospace project. From R&D to manufacturing, the materials used will vary based on the type of component or aircraft being manufactured. Aircraft disc brakes require rubber or latex components to operate the hydraulic aspects, while speed brakes located on wings will be manufactured from the same composites as the wings, spoilers, or flaps.
How Do the Brakes Interact with Other Parts of the Aircraft
The landing gear is one of the most pivotal aspects of any aerospace design. It is a complex piece of machinery that requires the integration and synchronization of various components; any failure of these components could result in a crash. The landing gear is deployed during the descent of an aircraft to allow the wheels to come into contact with the ground. Once the wheels have begun spinning on the ground, the aerospace brakes are then activated to slow the vehicle. They apply friction and pressure to the apparatus to reduce the high speed of the wheels to the point where the plane can stop safely.
Speed brakes are an important part when altering the speed of a plane or other aircraft. Panels, spolers and flaps can be built into the wing to slow down the plane while in the air or to lower overall speed for any required maneuvers. Speed brakes catch the wind and produce a negative force proportional to the speed of the plane going in the opposite direction. This will work to slow down the plane, effectively acting as another brake.
The cockpit is instrumental for most of the plane’s functions. It serves as a control center for all the operations required for flight. From here, the speed brakes can be deployed, the landing gear lowered, the brakes against the wheels, and, in some cases, drag chutes released. The pilot orchestrates everything from the cockpit.
Pull Out All the Stops with Parts Built by NMG
Aerospace brakes are a critical part of any air or spacecraft. However, they are not the only ones. Every aircraft component must meet expectations and spec requirements to achieve successful and safe flights. NMG Aerospace has manufactured aerospace brakes and other components for over 50 years – contact us today to pull out all the stops on your aerospace designs.
How Military Aircraft Manufacturing Differs From Commercial
Despite wanting to provide the highest quality of airplane parts and machinery across the spectrum of our clients, certain considerations need to be made for specific clients. This devotion to quality is especially true of our military aircraft contracts. It’s not that we do not want our commercial assets to be as safe and functioning as possible. It’s that the military has a different set of specifications that may not translate to our commercial needs. Our military aircraft parts must withstand high speeds, hold up against g-forces, and be continuously durable, even under extreme conditions. To learn more about the high quality of care and precision that we offer for our brave troops, keep reading.
Military Requirements that Affect Aerospace Manufacturing
Despite the efficiency and speed that we enjoy in our commercial aircraft, it is not comparable to what is expected and demanded from our more powerful aerospace engineering creations designed for the military. The military aircraft we build must be able to travel at incredible speeds to perform their missions. These speeds come at a cost: the wear and tear they place on the machines we have created. As the plane goes faster and faster, it inherently will begin to place strain on essential machinery. To put this off for as long as possible, we must ensure that our aerospace design can withstand the pressure they place on themselves to travel at such extreme speeds. It could prove catastrophic for the pilot and our entire country if poor military aircraft manufacturing caused a mission to fail. That is why all the military aircraft parts we design are pushed to the limit to ensure they can fulfill our speed needs.
Another sort of pressure placed on a military aircraft is not simply mechanical but a natural occurrence when a plane reaches ludicrous speeds. G Force is the force of acceleration that gravity puts on everything on Earth, which is 9.8 meters per second squared. When you travel at that same rate in a military aircraft, you are experiencing the equivalent of the Earth’s gravitational pull. If you travel DOUBLE that rate, you experience DOUBLE the standard force of gravity. Certain military aircraft can experience up to 9 G’s. That is nine times the Earth’s gravitational pull pressing against the pilot and his precision aerospace vehicle. That is why our parts are held to the highest standard and put through the most rigorous testing available to ensure that when a pilot travels at such intense speeds, the military aircraft can hold up.
In one way or another, all these points have to do with durability. However, there are different types of durability. A military aircraft must withstand several times the rate of the Earth’s pull, but that won’t necessarily help if it has to make an emergency landing. The aerospace engineering needs of our country are tremendous and occasionally require our troops to engage in hostile environments. These environments include mountainous regions, arid deserts, or swampy jungles. All these different biomes have different challenges that must be prepared for. That is why we must consider precision aerospace crafts’ durability while actively performing and their durability regarding their ability to land and take off again. It all matters.
NMG’s Experience With Military Aerospace Aircraft
NMG has had military contracts throughout its half-a-century of operations. This means we have been in operation since the Vietnam War, through the end of the Cold War, Desert Storm, and the War on Terror. We have had decades of experience providing quality military aircraft manufacturing and learning what it takes for aerospace engineering to lead to victory. To this day, we provide the highest care and quality assurance necessary to ensure our troops have everything they need to keep us and every other American safe.
Quality Military Aerospace Designs From NMG
As always, NMG remains on the cutting edge of aerospace engineering. Whatever the day’s needs are for keeping our country safe, we can provide the designs necessary to ensure victory. Contact NMG today to begin a conversation about your aerospace engineering needs.
The Role of Engineering in Aerospace Innovation
NMG has been committed to innovation since its inception as one of the leaders in aerospace manufacturing. We recognize the importance of remaining cutting-edge and pushing the boundaries of established aerospace technology. We have over 50 years of experience making discoveries, driving innovation, and finding new ways to improve and benefit air travel. Keep reading to learn more about where we’ve been and, more importantly, what the future may hold.
NMG’s Techniques to Develop New Technologies for Aerospace Innovation
Customer satisfaction is always a priority for any successful business. However, it is not merely a priority for NMG but one of our core values and beliefs. Providing an outstanding product for our clients is the basis for everything we do. It is the source of inspiration for our commitment to aerospace innovation and our identity. We continue moving forward through three specific schools of thought that drive our philosophy regarding innovative aerospace engineering: understanding client goals, reverse engineering, or starting with a clean slate.
Understanding Client Goals
What sets NMG apart from our competition is that we listen to our clients. We focus firmly on the feedback and the aerospace manufacturing requests made by our clients. We consider what they need, and from there, we begin researching and experimenting with our wide array of aerospace technology to see what we can do to make those goals a reality. Through this process, we can bring exciting innovations into reality. With these developments, we can further the cause of excellence within the aerospace manufacturing industry.
Aerospace Innovation Reverse Engineering
It is exciting to take new ideas from the ground up. However, there is something to be said about not reinventing the wheel. Often, the most revolutionary and innovative ideas are simply continuations of existing products and developments. This occurrence is the backbone of our second most utilized creative mindset: reverse engineering. Reverse engineering looks for what already exists and then takes the next step. We follow the trail backward of that design. We seek an opportunity to go a different path and make entirely new innovations from the original blueprints.
Clean Sheet Design
There are opportunities for an entirely new process of aerospace manufacturing that starts from the ground up. When these times arise, we must throw out everything we have done previously. From here, we focus on a clean slate of aviation innovation ideas to bring the desired need to fruition. When faced with such a situation, we have to employ what we call clean sheet design.
This action is naturally a very radical and intensive aerospace engineering design opportunity. It ultimately does provide results, but it takes time. However, when completed, we have something entirely new to aerospace engineering, unlike anything seen before. You never know what innovations might come from a clean sheet design, but it is always exciting. For more information regarding this type of innovation, check out our previous blog post: Clean Sheet Design: Designing New Aircraft Technology.
Aerospace Innovation Examples from NMG
One only has to take a fleeting look at all of our aviation innovation ideas to see everything that we have contributed to aerospace and all the innovations we have created to make our company successful and profitable. However, there are a few examples of aerospace engineering that we are specifically proud of that we would like to highlight in this paragraph.
Safety features are one of our series of new innovations that are particularly relevant in a successful airplane. We are very proud of our contributions to ensuring a safely operating machine. Our proprietary brakes, motorized and pneumatic valves, solenoids, and gages are a few of our more elite creations driving the aerospace engineering industry forward.
On the same page as safety equipment, we have also contributed great strides in aerospace innovation to the landing gear requirements. After extensive research and design, we are pleased to say that our actuators, braking apparatuses, and wheels are of the highest quality in any other manufacturing facility.
In addition to our outstanding safety equipment, we have made significant contributions regarding fluid systems with our airplane parts. These can be seen through our development of gauge tanks, reservoirs, and extensive hose upgrades.
Engineering Aerospace Innovation Technologies With NMG
Ultimately, our top priorities at NMG are keeping people safe and for our machines to do their job. We want to do our job the best way possible. This way, you can accomplish your tasks and your goals similarly. As a result, we are constantly driving ourselves forward to create the best products available. Looking for an aerospace manufacturer committed to an excellent customer experience while producing the highest quality parts available? Look no further than the best aerospace engineering organization in the country: NMG. Contact us today.
Importance of Weather & Aerospace Engineering
Aircraft are operated outdoors, in a wide range of weather conditions. While some weather patterns are too extreme for safe flight, aircraft must still endure quite intense conditions while in flight.
While some types of weather have more significant aviation impacts than others, all environmental conditions can affect flight. Understanding the effects of rain, snow, wind, and ambient temperature on the aircraft is critical to designing, engineering, and manufacturing quality aerospace components that can perform as designed regardless of the forecast.
How Weather Affects Aviation
While a minor rain shower may not have much effect on flight, heavy rainfall can present some challenges when the aircraft is still on the ground. Taxiing through deep water is different from taxiing on a dry runway, and the aircraft’s tires must be able to maintain adequate grip on the runway surface during takeoff and landing.
Cold weather can bring snow and ice. Snow and ice buildup on an aircraft can affect the aerodynamics of the aircraft’s crucial structures, such as the tail and wing. This affects drag and lift and can lead to stalling, which can be dangerous. For this reason, preventing snow and ice buildup is critical when flying in cold weather.
The primary risk associated with heat is overheating of vital aircraft components, such as brakes, air systems, and electronic equipment. These malfunctions can be very dangerous. Additionally, extreme heat often reduces ambient air density, which can affect takeoff.
These are just a few examples. Severe thunderstorms and hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, salt air, and countless other weather events and conditions can affect the performance of aerospace components and the aircraft as a whole. All relevant conditions must be considered when designing a component that can withstand them all.
Engineering Aerospace Products to Withstand Weather Conditions
One excellent example of a quality aerospace component designed to withstand intense weather conditions is the motor valve. Motor valves are designed to withstand a wide range of extreme conditions, such as freeze/thaw cycles. Because motor valves are often used in a section of the aircraft without temperature control, these components may encounter a temperature swing from 130°F or higher to -70°F in the span of forty-five minutes, as the aircraft travels from desert-level heat on the ground to the below-freezing temperatures at altitude.
Other challenging conditions often facing motor valves include:
- Electromagnetic interference
There are separate design engineering standards for each of these conditions that must be met in order for the motor valves to be approved for use on an aircraft. In other words, a vast array of requirements and criteria must be met during the design process to ensure proper performance and durability of a motor valve.
This is simply one example. Countless systems throughout the aircraft must be designed and engineered to withstand a range of weather conditions and continue to perform as intended under rapidly changing conditions.
Aerospace Parts for All Conditions & Applications With NMG
The team at NMG Aerospace has a deep understanding of the impact of weather conditions on flight and aviation. With our years of experience in aerospace component design, engineering, and manufacturing, we understand how to balance a long list of performance requirements. We can work with you to develop an effective aerospace component design that takes into account the myriad environmental challenges the component may face while in service.
To learn more about designing aerospace components for weather conditions and discuss your next project, talk to a member of our team >
Purpose of Clean Sheet Aircraft
When needs arise in a given marketplace, such as the aerospace industry, that need can often be fulfilled by modifying or tweaking an existing design, concept, or product. However, with the aerospace industry changing and advancing at a rapid pace, completely new needs—gaps in the marketplace—are appearing on a regular basis, needs that cannot be met with existing solutions. This calls for a completely new design, called a clean sheet design.
Clean sheet aircraft are the product of entirely new designs, driven by significant technology shifts or changing demands in the marketplace. These aircraft leverage completely new aircraft designs and concepts with no real predecessors in the market. Clean sheet aircraft can play a significant role in driving the aerospace industry forward and exploring the possibilities of flight.
Clean Sheet Engineering Process
Understanding Client Goals
The first step of the clean sheet engineering process is a conversation with the client. This conversation may serve as the moment when the client and the engineer determine that a clean sheet design is, in fact, necessary. Once the client’s needs and goals are understood, the engineer can determine whether an existing project will suffice or whether they need to start from scratch.
Innovation & Creative Thinking
The next step is to begin drafting a new design that meets the client’s needs. Clean sheet design relies on the same long-standing engineering principles as a modified design, but leverages them in new and innovative ways. This stage is defined by creative thinking.
Once the engineering team has a few solid ideas to work with, the next step is to test those clean sheet aircraft designs. This requires building physical prototypes that can undergo various tests and assessments, to validate the concept and determine whether it’s viable. Building a few different prototypes allows the engineering team to test multiple ideas before deciding which direction they want to explore, whether that’s choosing a single idea or combining the principles of two ideas into something totally different.
Quality & Safety Testing
Once a clean sheet design prototype has been tested for viability, it must be tested for safety and quality. While these two categories of testing are different, they overlap in many ways. Both quality and safety testing are designed to assess the longevity and functionality of a component or part and its ability to function as designed in a variety of applicable service conditions. This stage of the clean sheet design process is crucial to determining whether an idea is not only viable but feasible and practical in the real world.
Aerospace and Aircraft Engineering With NMG
NMG Aerospace is proud to support our clients’ dedication to innovation and creative thinking via clean sheet design of a wide range of aircraft and aerospace components. In collaboration with our clients, we have developed and manufactured clean sheet designs of:
- Fluid system components, including many varieties of aerospace hoses, gauges, tanks, and reservoirs.
- Safety system components, including gauges, pneumatic and motorized valves, solenoids, and brakes.
- Landing gear components, including wheels, actuators, and braking components.
At NMG, we embrace the challenge and excitement of pursuing brand-new ideas via clean sheet design. Our team has years of hands-on experience supporting the design and manufacturing of aerospace components, and we can leverage that rich history to develop innovative new approaches in partnership with our clients.
Whether you’re in the early brainstorming stages of the aircraft design process or ready to begin testing a new idea, NMG is here to support you. Talk to a member of our team >
Importance of Manufacturing Experience
When it comes to large-scale production for a critical industry, such as aerospace, there’s simply no replacement for manufacturing experience. Excellent manufacturing is a product of efficiency, quality, and the ability to accommodate highly specific needs. These valuable traits are the product of many years of honing and streamlining processes, from the ramp-up period to final quality assurance.
Many aerospace companies don’t have the luxury of waiting around for a manufacturer to fix a mistake or figure out a plan for a complex project. Experienced manufacturers can leverage their long track records and deep knowledge to ensure maximum efficiency at every stage and deliver a finished product that matches spec, every time.
NMG’s Aerospace Engineering Experience
NMG has been providing excellent aerospace engineering services and supporting the aerospace industry since 1967. For over fifty years, we’ve played a critical role in the evolution and advancement of aerospace and aircraft technology by solving complex aerospace engineering services for our valued customers. We take great pride in crafting better aircraft components by leveraging our aerospace engineering expertise to make systems more efficient and effective. Whether we’re finding a way to fit a complex system into a limited space, increase the reliability of a critical safety component, or design a new and improved manufacturing process, NMG is determined to meet our customers’ needs and get it right the first time, every time.
How Experience Affects Aerospace Manufacturing Today
Working with an experienced aerospace manufacturer benefits customers in a few key ways, ranging from deep perspective to faster execution of critical manufacturing stages:
Deep Industry Knowledge
While a reputable manufacturer won’t share anything that violates the intellectual property of another client, experienced manufacturers do have the wisdom of many years to offer. An experienced aerospace manufacturer can give advice based on the successes, setbacks, and advancements they’ve witnessed during their long tenure in the aerospace industry. This educated perspective can be a tremendous advantage, especially when exploring new ideas.
Faster Ramp Up Times
Experienced manufacturers need less time than their greener counterparts to get ramped up for a new project and start production. Because they’ve completed so many successful projects, they can draw on their past manufacturing experience when devising and executing a ramp-up plan, rather than having to start from scratch every time. This can significantly shorten the overall timeline of the project.
Able to Meet Demand
Experienced aerospace manufacturers often have greater capacity and flexibility to offer, as well as the ability to accommodate specific, even unusual, needs. Because they’ve spent so many years expanding their capabilities and executing a wide range of projects, they can meet demand for complex specs and large orders.
Ensure Product Meets Specifications
Experienced manufacturers are well versed in the rigorous standards and specifications of the aerospace industry, set by both regulatory bodies and other manufacturers, and can help their customers meet those high expectations.
Experienced Quality Aerospace Manufacturing With NMG
NMG Aerospace has been in the aerospace manufacturing and design business for decades. During that time, we’ve honed virtually all of our processes to ensure smoother operations, better quality, and maximum efficiency, so we can get it right the first time, every time. We can meet demand, even under unusual or urgent circumstances, faster than the competition, so we can keep your project moving forward and get you exactly what you need.
To learn more about our manufacturing experience, our approach, and how we can support even your most complex projects, talk to a member of our team >
What Is NADCAP?
NADCAP is short for National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program. NADCAP is a conformity and quality assessment developed to ensure quality in aerospace manufacturing.
Before NADCAP, suppliers had to undergo audits for every single aerospace customer they wanted to work with. This proved to be expensive and time-consuming, not to mention redundant. Many major aerospace manufacturers had similar criteria regarding process and quality and were performing near-identical audits.
The solution was NADCAP. Proposed in 1989 and passed in 1990, NADCAP created a single, standardized audit that most aerospace customers deem rigorous enough to meet their exacting standards. Now, undergoing a NADCAP audit opens the door for suppliers to work with many different aerospace customers.
Purpose of NADCAP Welding Standards
Aerospace products are expected to perform under rigorous conditions and in extreme environments, requiring a different approach to accreditation than consumer or even industrial products. The purpose of NADCAP welding standards is to establish that all aerospace welding processes and procedures conform to a defined set of expectations. This has several key benefits for aerospace suppliers, manufacturers, and other industry participants.
While many regulatory and accreditation bodies conduct audits based on final product quality, NADCAP conducts audits of processes. Every step of the aerospace welding process, from the way the welder receives the work order to final product delivery, is closely inspected by an experienced auditor to ensure that expectations are met. Some of the processes reviewed during a NADCAP audit include:
- Material sourcing, purchasing, and allocation.
- Equipment maintenance and use.
- Operator practices.
Focusing on best practices throughout the process leads to superior quality at the final product stage.
Meets Safety Standards
By reviewing processes rather than the final product, NADCAP audits can uncover opportunities to improve worker safety. NADCAP welding standards are built around safety best practices, allowing auditors to support suppliers in improving their safety practices and protecting their workers.
Highlights Opportunities for Improvement
Preparing for an audit can be a little stressful, but every audit presents an opportunity to make improvements. NADCAP auditors will provide feedback and guidance regarding areas for improvement, giving suppliers the opportunity to establish better aerospace welding practices and reap the benefits.
Increase Market Visibility
Many aerospace companies and customers will only work with suppliers that have achieved NADCAP accreditation. Passing a NADCAP audit makes suppliers more visible to potential customers, creating more opportunities to do business.
NADCAP Certification Process
The NADCAP accreditation process differs slightly depending on the process for which you are seeking accreditation. Separate audits are required for each service area. However, most audit processes follow the same general format:
- The supplier requests the audit. Usually, they will receive a hefty packet of information about what to expect and how to prepare for the audit.
- The audit is scheduled, and an auditor is assigned.
- The auditor performs the audit and writes and submits their report.
- If the auditor notices and reports any issues, the supplier has a chance to make corrections and respond.
- The accreditation body reviews the report and the supplier’s responses. Once the accreditation body is satisfied that all issues have been corrected, the report goes to a task group for review.
- The supplier receives their NADCAP accreditation.
NADCAP accreditations must be renewed every 12 months.
Quality Aerospace Manufacturing & NADCAP Welding from NMG
NMG is proud to have achieved NADCAP accreditation for aerospace welding. We specialize in welding, torch, and induction brazing for high-performance aerospace parts and components. Our experts have mastered the best practices established by NADCAP welding standards, and we’re constantly improving our processes thanks to our institutional dedication to lean manufacturing.
Our aerospace welding capabilities are supplemented by a robust portfolio of other aerospace manufacturing capabilities and many years of experience.
To learn more about our aerospace welding capabilities, talk to a member of our team >
What Is an Aerospace Actuator?
An actuator is a device or component that converts power into motion. Actuators come in a tremendous range of sizes and functions and can convert power into pressure, temperature, and mechanical movements. Each type of actuator works a little differently, depending on the medium used to generate force, such as compressed air, pressurized fluid, electricity, and rotary motion. The role of the actuator is to convert that power into motion or force.
An aerospace actuator is, quite simply, an actuator that performs these functions in an aerospace environment, usually onboard an aircraft. Aerospace actuators are among the most important components aboard an aircraft, triggering trigger functions as simple as opening or closing a valve or as complex as lowering the aircraft’s landing gear. Actuators play a critical role in the reliable function of engine turbines, autopilot systems, and other large assemblies and systems.
Types of Aircraft Actuators
There are several types of aerospace actuators already in heavy use, and new varieties are currently in development. Here are the most common types of actuators seen in the aerospace industry.
Linear actuators convert rotary motion into linear motion and are among the most common types of aircraft actuators. They can push, pull, and hold components of all sizes with more power, speed, and precision than the human body alone is capable of. As a result, linear actuators have many applications throughout an aircraft. Common examples include:
- Engaging and retracting aircraft landing gear.
- Engaging the aircraft’s wing flaps.
- Controlling reverse thrust functions.
Hydraulic actuators use fluids to generate power, force, and torque. Hydraulic actuators are extremely powerful and can generate immense amounts of force while weighing relatively little and without taking up too much space, making them an excellent choice for high-force applications.
Hydraulic actuators offer several other key advantages. Hydraulic actuators don’t use any electricity and are easy to maintain compared to some other types of aircraft actuators. They can also be engaged very quickly, which is advantageous in many circumstances.
Applications for hydraulic actuators include:
- Aircraft landing gear.
- Wheel brakes.
- Constant-speed propellers.
Solenoid actuators convert electrical energy into mechanical action via the use of electromagnetics. Wire is coiled tightly around an iron core with a ferromagnetic plunger. Running an electrical current through the coil generates a magnetic field, which triggers the movement of the plunger.
Solenoid actuators operate quickly and can be easier to install than some other types of aircraft actuators. Solenoid actuators are utilized throughout the aircraft for a wide variety of applications, including:
- Starting aircraft engines.
- Deicing systems.
- Evacuation systems.
- Opening and closing of valves to control the flow of fluid and air in fuel metering units, engine control systems, and environmental control systems.
Aerospace Actuators From NMG
NMG Aerospace has years of experience designing and manufacturing aerospace actuators for a wide range of applications throughout the aircraft. In 2016, we made the strategic decision to acquire Electromotive Inc. to expand and deepen our in-house expertise on aerospace actuators and actuation technology.
With our extensive knowledge of aircraft assemblies and systems that rely on actuators to operate, we offer tremendous insight into the design and production process and can help our customers develop reliable systems from nosecone to tail. Our actuator manufacturing, assembly, and testing facilities can withstand pressures up to 10,000 psi, so we can handle robust assemblies and projects.
To learn more about our aerospace actuator manufacturing and design capabilities, talk to a member of our team >
What is Aerospace Engineering?
The field of engineering is dedicated to using math and science together to solve problems, design creative solutions, and make products, systems, and processes better. Aerospace engineering focuses these activities on aircraft. Aerospace engineering touches virtually every part and every system of the aircraft, from the mechanisms that keep the plane aloft to systems that move potable water from one tank to another.
An aerospace engineering project may be driven by any of a number of goals: designing a new product, solving a recurring problem, finding an alternative that saves money, making an existing product more compact for a tight fit, and more. The applications for aerospace engineering are virtually unlimited.
What are Upcoming Aerospace Trends?
Many things about the aerospace industry are changing, driven by both consumer and industry interests.
Overall interest in space travel is growing. For years, the only major players were NASA and SpaceX, but many smaller, private companies are starting to announce their own plans for outer space activities. Manufacturing, solar power, and tourism are just a few industries that are expanding beyond earth’s atmosphere.
Advanced air mobility (AAM) is becoming a hot topic in many circles. AAM refers to any activity that incorporates aerospace technology into areas and industries that didn’t leverage it. This might include urban transportation and public services, cargo transportation, and more.
Demand for sustainable practices is growing in both B2B and B2C sectors of the aerospace industry. Consumers and manufacturers alike are calling for lower emissions, more sustainable aerospace manufacturing solutions, recyclable material usage, and more.
What Sort of Work do Aerospace Engineers Do?
Aerospace engineers have many career paths to choose from, given the versatility of their skillset. An aerospace engineer may design aircraft and spacecraft parts, components, and systems. They may work in drafting and build blueprints and technical schematics. They may choose more of a leadership role, guiding teams of other engineers and support stuff. They may pivot to sales or business development and work directly with customers. They may teach future aerospace engineers in a college or university setting as a professor. Because aerospace engineering is such a diverse field, professionals with a wide range of interests and personality types can find satisfying careers.
NMG’s Most Frequently Asked Questions
How Does NMG Ensure Quality Processes?
Every single member of the NMG Aerospace team undergoes intensive training in lean manufacturing, so we share a unified vision for continuous improvement. As a result, we’re always working together to ensure quality and consistency, and we’ve spent years fine tuning all of our systems to be as efficient and reliable as possible. This is an internally motivated commitment, one that we adhere to for every job, alongside any specific requests from our customers.
We also work closely with our clients to learn about their own quality commitments and expectations. We tweak our processes and put extra guardrails in place as necessary based on what they ask for, and we check in regularly to make sure we’re on the same page.
Does NMG Aerospace Focus on Sustainability?
Yes, NMG is always exploring new ways to improve the sustainability of our operations. Here are a few of our current practices:
- Material recycling and reduction. We strive to recycle metal chips, rejected parts, and other material scraps whenever possible. We also place smaller stock orders, so there’s less material leftover at the end of every aerospace manufacturing project, and we always try to rework a part before discarding it.
- Better facility practices. We’ve made a few changes to the way our aerospace manufacturing facilities operate to lower our carbon footprint. Lots of our lights turn off automatically, and we’re exploring ways to cut down on water usage. There’s always room for improvement in this area, and we’re dedicated to continuous investigation of changes we can implement right here.
- More efficient packaging. We have a lot of strategies for ensuring right-size packaging for every order, so we’re not shipping everything in oversized boxes or crates that require more material than necessary.
Can NMG Aerospace take over existing orders with other manufacturers?
Yes, we have a strong track record of this. Here are two examples:
- NMG and a second supplier were working simultaneously to make a part. The second supplier suffered a setback. NMG had the foresight to prepare for the possibility of absorbing whatever work the second supplier couldn’t complete and thus was able to take over right away.
- NMG retrofitted an entire fleet of business aircraft with new parts after the first iteration, manufactured by a different supplier, failed to meet expectations.
Read more examples here.
Aerospace Manufacturing & Engineering From NMG
If you have other questions about aerospace manufacturing and aerospace engineering, talk to NMG Aerospace. We’ve been in the aerospace manufacturing business for decades, so you can count on us to offer the expertise, perspective, and guidance you’re looking for. Whether you’re working on a brand new project, hoping to make improvements on an existing product, or seeking help with a challenge, we can help.
Talk to a member of our team >
Understanding the Impact of The Aerospace Industry & the Environment
From major aircraft manufacturers to smaller supplies, virtually every branch of the aerospace industry is exploring sustainability and sustainable alternatives to common practices and materials. Many of the big names—Pratt & Whitney, Boeing, Airbus, Kaiser—have made public announcements about their sustainability initiatives and promises as they work to create more sustainable aircraft. And lots of smaller players are following suit.
Because the industry is so diverse and far-reaching, aerospace companies are pursuing many different strategies for sustainability and eco-consciousness. Some areas being explored include:
- Energy consumption. Aerospace manufacturers are reducing energy consumption in manufacturing and developing aircraft that consume less fuel or utilize more sustainable energy sources.
- Water consumption. Many sectors are exploring new manufacturing techniques that consume less fresh water.
- Waste reduction. Efficient manufacturing practices and strategic buying can result in less waste of materials and unused components. Additionally, aerospace manufacturers are experimenting with both recycled materials and closed-loop recycling systems.
- CO2 emissions. Many aerospace companies are leveraging the above strategies and others to decrease their carbon footprint or work toward carbon neutrality.
- Material selection. Many aircraft and component manufacturers are phasing out hazardous materials that may pose a threat to the environment. In the aerospace industry, more than 1,700 materials are subject to regulatory oversight. Initiatives such as the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACh) play a vital role in this shift.
Sustainability is also being lauded as a sign of innovation and smart business. Bjorn Hansen, Executive Director of The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), has stated, “It’s clear that the most innovative companies are those that have adopted a green mindset.”
How NMG Reduces Waste & Pollution
At NMG Aerospace, sustainability and conservation are important to us. We’ve initiated a number of sustainable practices at our manufacturing facilities, and we’re always investigating ways to take our green approach to the next level. Here are a few things we do to play our part:
Reducing and Recycling Materials
Material waste can be a major challenge in the world of manufacturing. That’s why we strive to recycle as much as we possibly can. This includes plastic materials and machining debris, such as metal chips or rejected parts. We also buy smaller stock for machining aerospace components so we can reduce waste overall. Whenever possible, we rework parts rather than throwing them out.
Better Facility Practices
In addition to better material management and recycling, we’ve also adopted many basic practices to cut down on energy consumption and carbon output in our own buildings and facilities. For example, all of our lights are programmed to turn off automatically, so not a single bulb is left burning longer than necessary. Small steps like this add up over time, which is why we never hesitate to adopt even the most minor adjustment to make our business more sustainable.
More Efficient Packaging
Anyone who has ever ordered something online is familiar with the phenomenon of an oversized box with a single, comically small item inside. While this may be amusing, it’s an environmental error for several reasons. First, oversized packaging requires the consumption of substantially more material than is necessary. Second, shipping an oversized package drives up our collective shipping carbon footprint.
NMG is committed to right-sized packaging for every shipment, so we can use our shipping materials more efficiently and reduce our shipping carbon footprint.
Our Commitment to Sustainable Manufacturing Practices
With over 40 years of experience, NMG has played a long-standing role in the aerospace industry’s ongoing journey toward greater sustainability. From our on-site initiatives to our manufacturing practices, we’re proud to support our customers as they strive to build a more sustainable aircraft.
To learn more about sustainable aerospace component manufacturing and what we do at NMG, talk to a member of our team >
How Manufacturing Partnerships Are Beneficial
Aerospace manufacturing partnerships offer a wide range of significant benefits and advantages to aircraft manufacturers, tier suppliers, and specialized service providers.
Major aircraft manufacturers who outsource multiple steps to a single partner reap the benefits of greater efficiency. There is no need to coordinate transportation to multiple facilities, no excess risk of supply chain disruptions or delays, and none of the stress associated with coordinating communication and logistics with multiple parties. Some manufacturing partnerships can even incorporate automated ordering mechanisms, cutting down on the administrative hours required to manage the partnership and further increasing efficiency for the aircraft manufacturer.
A truly exceptional manufacturing partner can also offer insight to improve product design and make the manufacturing process easier and less expensive. Experienced aerospace manufacturers can leverage their many years of manufacturing experience to identify opportunities for improvement, greater efficiency, and cost savings.
Collaborations in manufacturing can serve as a failsafe or backup as well. If an aircraft manufacturer experiences a delay or other issue in house, they can quickly outsource production to their aerospace manufacturing partner, minimizing any disruption or slowdown. An aerospace manufacturing partner may also be able to find a timely solution if another supplier failed to complete a project on time or without defects.
How NMG Collaborates With Others
NMG Aerospace is proud to have a rich history of supporting our customers in times of need and developing collaborative partnerships that resulted in streamlined production, cost savings, and reduced administrative headache. Here are several noteworthy examples.
- NMG spent several years performing subcomponent machining for a major Tier 1 aircraft systems manufacturer for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. The manufacturer eventually entrusted NMG with not only machining, but also assembly and testing. NMG has also advised the manufacturer on nearly 200 separate occasions on design refinements that have resulted in better manufacturability, so certain parts became easier and less expensive to produce. NMG has become a vital and trusted partner to this particular manufacturer.
- A major Tier 1 aircraft systems manufacturer engaged both NMG and a second supplier to make a particular part for a high performance aircraft platform. NMG had the foresight to create a contingency plan in the event that the second supplier was unable to fulfill the contract for the customer. The second supplier did, in fact, suffer a setback, and since NMG already had the raw materials on hand to serve as a backup, we were able to jump into motion immediately and ensure that our customer got what they needed in a timely manner.
- A major business aircraft manufacturer approached NMG to retrofit an entire fleet to address a failing part designed and manufactured by a previous supplier. NMG has refined the design and the manufacturability of the part, well within the lead time requested by the manufacturer.
- A major aerospace machining supplier won an orifice support tube manufacturing contract a few years ago, only to discover that the parts are very difficult to reliably produce. The supplier turned to NMG for support and wound up outsourcing the entire project to NMG, who now produces the part for the supplier’s customer on the supplier’s behalf.
Engineering Quality Products With NMG
NMG Aerospace is proud to partner with major aircraft and aerospace manufacturers to support their product development innovation goals and offer critical problem-solving support when things don’t go according to plan. From cost-saving design consulting to flexible manufacturing capabilities and capacity, NMG has a proven track record of making a meaningful difference for our customers. We can offer both subject matter expertise and smooth collaboration to deliver a streamlined experience for our customers, their customers, and the aerospace industry as a whole.
To discuss a possible collaboration or project with NMG, talk to a member of our team >
How Aerospace Manufacturers are Managing Aerospace Industry Growth
The aerospace industry has experienced some significant ups and downs in recent years. In the decade leading up to 2020, the aerospace industry experienced continuous growth, peaking around 2018. However, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the worst downturn in the history of manned flight. Virtually every part of the industry, from airlines to aircraft manufacturers, suffered.
Now, in 2023, the industry is back on a strong upward trajectory, as people return to air travel in droves. Numerous factors are contributing to aerospace industry growth, and the aerospace manufacturing sector may be poised to make it possible.
Why is the Aerospace Industry Growing?
End of Covid Pandemic
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and border closures led to a dramatic reduction in both international and domestic flights. Some experts say that international flight volume decreased by as much as 68%, while domestic flights dropped by 40%. Aerospace and aircraft manufacturers experienced major downturns as a result.
While some countries are still refusing or restricting entry to unvaccinated individuals, virtually all other travel restrictions have long since been lifted. Business travel remains a bit muted, but leisure travel has made a booming return.
Advancing Military Technology
According to Deloitte, the defense segment of the aerospace industry is stable and on track to outperform commercial in the coming years. Technological advancement is an evergreen priority of many branches of the military, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine has prompted a worldwide bolstering of defense budgets and heightened demand for equipment. The United States and many European countries have reportedly budgeted a total of $204 billion to modernize their militaries, which could very well lead to a wealth of advancements and breakthroughs and meaningful industry growth.
Renewed Interest in Space Travel
Another major contributor to aerospace industry growth is growing interest in space travel. NASA and SpaceX have been the primary players for a while, but plenty of private companies and startups are beginning to venture into space travel. We set a new record for orbital launches in 2022, and countless small satellites are launched on a regular basis.
This is partially driven by growing interest in both establishing new industries in space and expanding existing industries toward the stars. Examples include space-based manufacturing and solar power, asteroid mining, and space tourism.
Another contributing factor is the growing interest in reusable launch vehicles. Both NASA and SpaceX have experimented and achieved success with reusable assets, and more advancements are likely on the horizon.
What Aerospace Industry Growth Means for Aerospace Component Manufacturers
Aerospace component manufacturers have the potential to reap tremendous benefits if they leverage this season of aerospace industry growth effectively. This requires a few key strategies:
- Offer supply chain visibility and resilience. After the supply chain disruptions that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic, the aerospace industry is eager for stability and predictability throughout the aerospace manufacturing supply chain. According to the United States Department of Defense, aerospace component manufacturers should strive to be as reliable and transparent as possible, to soothe the anxieties of customers and ensure an increase in on-time deliveries.
- Offer flexibility and agility without sacrificing quality. Aerospace technology is advancing very quickly, and aircraft manufacturers are working hard to keep up. Aerospace component manufacturers can serve their customers by building in-house processes that allow them to turn on a dime and make fast changes while still delivering top-quality components.
- Be diligent about hiring and retention. Many manufacturing sectors are struggling with the ramifications of an older workforce and the challenge of hiring and keeping good talent. Aerospace component manufacturers should invest meaningfully in growing and nurturing excellent teams in every part of their business, so they are at the ready to meet their customers’ increasingly frequent staffing and shortages driven needs.
How NMG is Prepared to Meet Growing Industry Demands
NMG Aerospace has been part of the aerospace industry since 1967. We’ve supported our clients through many seasons of growth and struggle, earning their trust as a reliable manufacturing partner regardless of the state of the industry. As a result, we are fully equipped and ready to accommodate the opportunities, demands, and challenges that accompany seasons of tremendous growth.
All of our aerospace machining and manufacturing facilities are located on American soil, so we can contribute to our clients’ desire for stability in the supply chain. We place a high value on transparency and communication, so we’re always clear on exactly what our clients need, and our clients are never left wondering about the status or timeline of a given product. And thanks to our company-wide commitment to lean manufacturing processes, NMG is extremely agile and can adapt to big changes without wavering on our quality promise.
If you’re looking for a trusted domestic manufacturer of high-quality aerospace components with decades of experience in the industry, talk to the team at NMG >