The aerospace industry encompasses all types of air traffic, from massive Boeing 747 jets that carry hundreds of passengers to spacecraft rockets designed to travel to the International Space Station, the moon, and even Mars for exploration purposes. Aerospace technology is made with some of the most incredible precision imaginable. As such, computer numerical control (CNC) fits quite well into this field where such amazing pieces of transportation are developed.
CNC in Aviation
Aircraft carriers, from two-person private jets to commercial airplanes that carry a few hundred passengers around the globe, must be constructed with the utmost precision. This precision includes all facets of production, from the engine of the aircraft to the outer body of the jet. A CNC machine can play a critical role in quickly and precisely manufacturing specific tools that aid in the operations of each plane component. For example, in order for a plane’s engine to maintain an 8-hour flight, it must be designed to properly process and utilize the fuel inside it. A barely visible piece within the engine may be created with a CNC machine. The same may be said for the plane’s cockpit, which likely includes an intricate computer system to ensure the plane reaches its intended destination. In addition to these inner workings of a jet, the outside design like a plane’s wing could be modified with a CNC machine with extreme precision so that the wing functions through the air properly and efficiently.
CNC in Space Exploration & Travel
When you think of space exploration and travel, the names NASA or SpaceX probably come to mind right away. These organizations have designed some of the most powerful rockets in the world that can traverse millions of miles around the solar system. CNC machining processes have been used to manufacture necessary components of all spacecraft types, from the inner workings to the body design. Spacecraft are designed to maintain themselves in outer space for months – or even years. With this long-term maintenance in mind, they must be developed with incredible precision and accuracy. From the computer system inside a rocket ship to the engine made for extreme durability, these transporters require the utmost attention to detail when on the assembly line. Safety is also a major factor at play, in addition to storage equipment for astronauts who take lengthy missions to space.
Industrial CNC Manufacturing
Due to the high-powered nature of airplanes and spacecraft, industrial CNC manufacturing processes are certainly much more common than private, homemade attempts at CNC machining. As such, there is a great deal of expense involved in designing parts for the most powerful forms of transportation we enjoy today. That is why only the most wealthy companies and organizations in the marketplace can afford the luxury of automation when it comes to developing aerospace machines.