Aerospace giants get together to chart the future of technology in the skies

Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Trade and industry, gave the opening speech at the Aerospace Technology Leadership Forum.
Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Trade and industry, gave the opening speech at the Aerospace Technology Leadership Forum.PHOTO: A*STAR
Associate Professor Tan Sze Wee, Executive Director, Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), A*Star (far left) chairing a panel discussion during the A*StarAerospace Technology Leadership Forum 2016.
Associate Professor Tan Sze Wee, Executive Director, Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), A*Star (far left) chairing a panel discussion during the A*StarAerospace Technology Leadership Forum 2016.PHOTO: A*STAR

SINGAPORE - More than 350 delegates from aerospace companies worldwide took part on Monday (Feb 15) in the fourth Aerospace Technology Leadership Forum. This was organised by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) as part of the Singapore Airshow 2016.

Local industry heavyweights ST Aerospace and SIA Engineering Company were present, together with Singapore's Defence Science and Technology Agency.

Giving the opening speech at the forum Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) highlighted Singapore's achievements in the aerospace sector and outlined the its plans for the future .

He said: "We are building on current capabilities to develop Singapore into a globally recognised aerospace economy, capable of providing design, engineering, production and aftermarket services for the world's major aircraft programmes."

One of the key foci of Singapore's strategy is on public-private partnerships, which will enable the industry to benefit from public investment in research and development, he added.

The Committee on the Future Economy, set up by the government last year, has also identified aerospace as a key component of advanced manufacturing in Singapore.

One example is the emerging technology of 3D printing of aircraft engine components, which has been undergoing development in Singapore for the last few years in a joint effort between Rolls-Royce and A*Star. Such technology can be used to refurbish worn turbine blades.

GE Aviation, another big engine maker, showcasedits 3D printing of fuel nozzles at the forum. "The fuel nozzle is an extremely complicated component," said Mr Gopinath Logannathan, director of product marketing at GE Aviation.

"Traditionally it had 18 different parts but, with 3D printing, it's just a single part."So, it is expected to last 5 times longer, he added.

While the major companies are in competition, they are not always butting heads. Professor Richard Parker, director of research & technology at Rolls-Royce Group, said: "Technology is where you want a common set of standards across the industry, and competition doesn't make a lot of sense."