I had the pleasure of attending the Ferchau Engineering Partner Networking event in Hamburg in January.
The event started with a fascinating tour of the ZAL, Hamburg’s Center of Applied Aeronautical Research, in Finkenwerder. The centre is a fantastic example of a collaborative workspace that brings together innovative companies of all sizes. In total 600 engineers and scientists conduct research and development across fields such as Aircraft Manufacturing, Cabin and Systems, and Digitalisation Technology.
The ZAL has received support and major investment from the City of Hamburg, Airbus, Lufthansa and local universities and is a brilliant example of what can be done to drive development in our industry. Of particular interest was the VR/AR suite which allows companies, including smaller start-up residents, to walk through their designs and get a real feel for how the different components interact.
After this we enjoyed a boat trip down the Elbe to the magnificent Haffen Hotel in central Hamburg for the main conference.
After a State of Nation by Harald Felten, CEO of Ferchau Aviation, we were treated to a presentation by John Arundle of Airbus R&D on the technologies that Airbus are deploying to improve the development cycle of their aircraft and to improve customer experience post delivery. In particular, he explained how Airbus are now becoming a supplier of software and analytics to their customers that will allow them to improve how the aircraft delivers return on investment throughout its lifespan.
After a quick round up from all the partners there the conference then retired to the Haffen’s fabulous restaurant to continue the discussion into the evening.