Can the latest futuristic 3D visualization software assist in assessing aircraft fatigue in high time airframes? Can this new innovation assist in helping NASA with space shuttle safety? All this new technology holds promising safety uses in transportation indeed. It was there for brought up recently between a couple of Think Tank participants when Swift from Las Vegas stated;
“I was thinking that it would possibly show stress factors in 3-D objects, particularly aircraft. Even though there are ways they test for metal stress, something always appears to occur. I don’t know if they look at how an object would fold to become the shape if it was constructed of paper, but it would be interesting to see if points were different.”
Well now if you look at the granularity being used in Video Games these days you can see how things work like this so this visualization could indeed help instantly identify problem areas. I always enjoyed building; Balsa Wood, dope and fabric and models because you would cut out the material in a sheet and fold it around the aircraft into place, from linear to 3D and since you could see through it, it gave you a 4D perspective. In the future remember the skin of the aircraft will be the strength and it will be “see through” sense it will be made of carbon nanotube or some other element nanotube construction and thus you will be able to see airframe fatigue readily.
If we resurfaced our older aircraft with extremely high-time airframes with nanotube construction, they would be lighter, better fuel economy and we could re-enlist our aging B-52, C-141, C-17, C-5, C-130, KC-10 fleets for another 40 years? Consider that too?