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China’s Comac to Challenge Boeing and Airbus

The company’s C919 airliner is slated to begin flight tests soon

3 min read
China’s Comac to Challenge Boeing and Airbus
Illustration: Elias Stein

The C919, China’s answer to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, is slated to have its first test flight somtime in 2016. Built by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), the twin-engine airliner had its celebratory rollout in November of 2015 in Shanghai. But even if the upcoming flight-testing goes well, don’t expect to fly on a C919 right away. Indeed, if you live in Europe or the United States, don’t expect to even see one at your local airport.

Although the C919 is a homegrown Chinese creation, the aircraft isn’t completely Chinese. Comac uses many of the same U.S. and European components as Boeing and Airbus do in their 737 and A320 airliners, including Honeywell’s flight-control system, Parker Aerospace’s hydraulic equipment, and Liebherr’s landing gear. But like Boeing and Airbus, Comac has the responsibility of ensuring that all those systems—and many more—work together smoothly. And that’s not an easy task: Problems with systems integration contributed to the lengthy delays with China’s ARJ21, a regional jet that first went into development in 2002 and will go into widespread commercial service only in 2016—eight years later than originally planned.

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AI’s Grandmaster Status Overshadows Chess Scandal

Magnus Carlsen-Hans Niemann controversy underscores humans’ perpetual underdog role

4 min read
Two men playing chess

Magnus Carlsen [left] and Hans Niemann compete during the 2022 Sinquefield Cup at the Saint Louis Chess Club.

Crystal Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Club

Last week Magnus Carlsen, the world chess champion, directly accused Hans Niemann, a U.S. grandmaster, of cheating during their game at the Sinquefield Cup, in St. Louis, Mo. He thus made plain an accusation he had been hinting at for weeks.

Carlsen has so far provided no evidence to back up his charge, nor has he specified how the cheating took place. Everyone agrees, however, that if there was cheating, then it must have involved computers, because nothing else could dismay Carlsen, whose rating of 2856 is higher than that of any other player. And everyone seems to have chosen sides.

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IHMC’s Nadia Is a Versatile Humanoid Teammate

This robust research platform is still humble enough to teleoperate

7 min read
Several different views of a headless black humanoid robot demonstrating its flexibility
IHMC

The Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) is well known in bipedal robotics circles for teaching very complex humanoid robots to walk. Since 2015, IHMC has been home to a Boston Dynamics Atlas (the DRC version) as well as a NASA Valkyrie, and significant progress has been made on advancing these platforms toward reliable mobility and manipulation. But fundamentally, we’re talking about some very old hardware here. And there just aren’t a lot of good replacement options (available to researchers, anyway) when it comes to humanoids with human-comparable strength, speed, and flexibility.

Several years ago, IHMC decided that it was high time to build their own robot from scratch, and in 2019, we saw some very cool plastic concepts of Nadia—a humanoid designed from the ground up to perform useful tasks at human speed in human environments. After 16 (!) experimental plastic versions, Nadia is now a real robot, and it already looks pretty impressive.

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How a Dual Curing Adhesive Works

UV22DC80-1 is an abrasion-resistant adhesive system that meets NASA low outgassing specs

1 min read

Master Bond's UV22DC80-1 is a one component, nanosilica filled, dual cure system with UV and heat curing mechanisms.

Master Bond

This sponsored article is brought to you by Master Bond.

Master Bond UV22DC80-1 is a nanosilica filled, dual cure epoxy based system. Nanosilica filled epoxy formulations are designed to further improve performance and processing properties.

The specific filler will play a crucial role in determining key parameters such as viscosity, flow, aging characteristics, strength, shrinkage, hardness, and exotherm. As a dual curing system, UV22DC80-1 cures readily upon exposure to UV light, and will cross link in shadowed out areas when heat is added.

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