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All forms of air travel are included in the aerospace industry. Everything from planes used by commercial airlines to spacecraft designed for travel outside the comforts of our atmosphere. If it flies, it is a product of the aerospace industry. As you’d probably imagine, pinpoint accuracy and razor-sharp precision are vital when designing machines that will take to the skies.
That’s why it is no surprise really that CNC or computer numerical control, is used so extensively in this field.
Industrial-Grade CNC Manufacturing
As aircraft in its many forms moves at high speeds and needs to be as durable and safe as possible, specialized industrial-standard CNC manufacturing setups are used. There is a lot of money required to fund the various components and parts of aircraft. As such, only the wealthiest businesses around the world can invest in the automation required to build these forms of transportation.
CNC Use in Aviation
Accuracy is important in aircraft construction. Whether it is fighter jets, cargo planes, passenger airlines. The accuracy required extends to all parts of the aircraft production process. That includes everything from the outer shell of the innermost parts. CNC machining can be integral to manufacturing the necessary tools accurately and at speed to ensure each part of the plane functions properly.
For instance, the engine inside a plane needs to be able to keep the plane in the air for the duration of its flight, which means it needs to be able to use and process fuel. Some of the most seemingly insignificant pieces that are crucial to the running of an engine can be made using CNC machining.
Consider also the cockpit. CNC machining could be used to create all the small and connected components that form the computer navigational system that helps the plane to get from a to b. Moving to the exterior of the plane, vital parts like the wings can be finetuned and tweaked with CNC machining to ensure they move through the air efficiently and safely.
CNC Use in Space Travel
What organizations do you think of when you think of space travel? NASA and Space-X probably fall quickly off your tongue. It makes sense as these companies are responsible for designing and manufacturing some of the most powerful and technologically advanced rockets and spacecraft to allow for manned and unmanned missions across our solar system.
To be able to do that, CNC machining has played an important role in the designing, planning and building of various parts of all kinds of rockets and other similar crafts. From the smallest and most minute fixtures and components to the body design of rockets.
Spacecraft needs to be built to last and withstand life in space for long periods, ranging from a few weeks to many years. Because of this, that golden word ‘accuracy’ comes in to play again in this part of the industry. Not only do all the parts need to work well, but they need to ensure the spacecraft operate safely, to protect not just the crew (if there is one) but the expensive equipment on board as well as the craft itself.