The first flight of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, N.C., in 1903.
Makino's A99E-5XR-CD lets shops do grinding, milling, drilling, and turning all in one setup.
OVER 300 EXPERTS IN THE aerospace industry gathered together for two days of machinery seminars and celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the historic flight of the Wright Brothers. Hosted by Makino, Mason, Ohio, the seminar provided a preview of new equipment for the aerospace industry; technical presentations from Makino, Rolls-Royce, and Tyrolit; and a visit to the Dayton Air Show. In addition, the seminar was capped off by talks by Amanda Wright Lane, great-grandniece of Wilbur and Orville Wright, and Chris von Ohain, son of Hans von Ohain, inventor of the first turbojet engine to power an aircraft.
Makino publicly unveiled its A99E-5XR-CD, a machine that combines the capabilities of a horizontal machining center with that of a grinding center. The result of a cooperative effort involving Makino, grinding-wheel manufacturer Tyrolit, and Rolls-Royce, the machine exploits VIPER (very impressive performance extreme removal) technology with a twist — continuous dressing. This capability means that the A99E-CD can machine large, complex, and precise components, unlike previous generations of VIPER systems that were limited to smaller parts like turbine blades.
In one demonstration, the machine tackled a turbine wheel made of Inconel 718. The system ran eight separate operations for various features in one setup, including O.D. grinding, bore milling, web grinding, O.D. turning, slot grinding, and I.D. turning. Total cycle time on the part was 78 min, 11 sec, which included ATC, ADC, and nozzle changes.
Besides the Makino A99ECD presentation by Mark Waymouth, aerospace group marketing manager, there were several other technical overviews, including one detailing grinding advancements. This was given by Hans Noichl, business unit manager, aerospace and turbine industry, for Tyrolit. In addition, Don Reinhart, chief of manufacturing technology at Rolls-Royce's Indianapolis operations, described costreduction opportunities involving the VIPER process.
At a dinner for seminar participants from both the turbo machinery and structural machining sides, Makino had two special speakers with family ties to the aerospace industry. The first, Amanda Wright Lane, shared excerpts of letters written by her famous great-grand uncles. These letters described some of the challenges the Wright brothers faced in the years to their successful launch at Kitty Hawk, N.C., as well as provided humorous insight into their personal lives and family relations.
The second speaker, Chris von Ohain, told the story of his father and the world's first jet-propelled flight in 1939, launched four days before the start of World War II. He also described how, after the war, Hans von Ohain emigrated to the U.S. and served as a research scientist at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He was eventually appointed chief scientist for the Air Force's Aero Propulsion Laboratories, and in 1991, was awarded the Charles Stark Draper Prize by the National Academy of Engineering.
Both speakers have ties to the Makino "family." Amanda Wright Lane is wife to company president Don Lane, and Chris von Ohain is the machine tool builder's information systems manager.