29 March 2016

Two new publications from aviationfacts.eu

We would like to draw your attention to two new publications of the platform Luchtvaartfeiten.nl / AviationFacts.eu: the ‘Repair of Composites Fact sheet’ and the ‘Cockpit Automation Fact sheet’.

Under the guidance of Maaik Borst, Marc Hogerbrug, Kaan Koc en Cheryl Zandvliet, students of the Aviation Engineering Honours Programme have written the Repair of Composites Fact sheet. Provided below is a brief summary.


Over the years, composites have been introduced as the main material for new aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350. Compared to currently used metals such as aluminium, composites have better properties such as more strength and stiffness compared to their density. However, composites have different kinds of damages which make certain repair methods impossible. For these damages, several repair techniques have been developed to keep the aircraft airworthy. Different aspects of the damage determine which repair technique is to be used.

The current repair methods have some disadvantages and this leads to the fact that not every damage can be repaired. The Structural Repair Manuals (SRM) contains the limits to what extent the repair of a damage is allowed to be performed.

The goal of the Commercial Aircraft Composite Repair Committee (CACRC) is improving repair of commercial aircraft composite structures and components, such as the usage of an extra composite plate as sealant. Furthermore, research is being done to the non-conventional machining methods, which create less heat and are more accurate. In addition, companies are currently working on improving surface treatments.

Current developments in the industry are focusing more on the complete repair process instead of new repair methods, because of the strict aviation regulation concerning new equipment and methods.

You can download the Repair of Composites Fact sheet here.

Under the guidance of Alfred Roelen, Julian Hiraki en Mike Warnink, students of the Aviation Engineering Honours Programme, have written the Cockpit Automation Fact sheet. Provided below is a brief summary.


In aviation, modern aircraft have become increasingly reliant on cockpit automation to provide a safe and efficient flight. It has provided aircraft with increased passenger comfort, improved flight path control, reduced workload and many other advantages. However, due to cockpit automation problems concerning the human-computer interaction have risen that have led to fatal air accidents. Two main phenomena can be pointed out that cause these problems and influence aviation safety: automation bias and automation surprise. To solve these problems, two main solutions have been proposed: revise pilot training and redefine the role of the pilot in the cockpit.

To introduce and substantiate this topic, two examples are given of flight accidents that have happened due to human-cockpit automation error: Turkish Airlines flight TK1951 on route from Istanbul Atatürk to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in 2009 and Air France flight AF447 from Rio de Janeiro Galeāo to Paris Charles de Gaulle in 2009.

You can download the Cockpit Automation Fact sheet here.

For more information, please contact redactie@luchtvaartfeiten.nl.