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Inflight connectivity demand grows need for high-performance digital, microwave solutions

Gregory Powers of W. L. Gore & Associates in Seattle is anxious to see the F-35, the latest variants of Airbus and Boeing commercial jet aircraft, and innovations for space at Paris Air Show. Inflight connectivity is among the hottest market segments, he says, and Gore is demonstrating its high-performance digital and microwave connectivity solutions in Le Bourget, France, during the industry event.

June 19, 2017

By Courtney E. Howard 
Chief Editor, Intelligent Aerospace

Intelligent Aerospace sat down with: 

Gregory Powers
Global Market Leader, Aerospace & Defense
WL Gore
Seattle, Wash., USA

What are you excited to see at Paris Air Show?

Gore is fortunate to be well represented and highly diverse within the aerospace industry. With our broad technology base, Gore supports applications ranging from the airframe assembly to flight control, C4ISR, and stores. We participate similarly in the space segment and can be found on spacecraft ranging from LEO satellites to the Mars rovers. We are very excited to see the F-35 participation this year and also looking forward to the latest variants of Airbus' A350 and Boeing's 787. Inflight Connectivity is one of the industry’s more dynamic market segments and has really created excitement within our product group.

What are you excited to bring to/share at the show?

The Gore booth will feature a wide variety of aerospace technologies and packaging solutions ranging from the industry’s premier wire, cable, and fiber-optic products to gaskets and sealants used in the assembly of airframes. Our booth will also include fabrics used in protective garments, as well as displays on filtering and venting technologies.

What will your technology focus be at the show and immediately following it?

Our technology focus will be on high-performance digital and microwave connectivity, as well as aerospace sealing and gasketing materials. This covers a range of aerospace industry segments and technologies, and involves products such as GORE Aerospace Ethernet Cables, GORE-FLIGHT Microwave cables, and GORE SKYFLEX Aerospace Materials.

How would you sum up the current state of the aerospace industry?

The aerospace industry today is quite robust. Civil aviation is setting records in passenger travel and backlog, new aircraft variants are being unveiled continuously and focus on the passenger experience has never been hotter, creating a significant influx of technology for seamless global connectivity. The military segment is equally robust with fixed wing, rotary wing and UAVs all acting as flexible platforms for the latest developments in C4ISR technology. Finally, the space segment is experiencing revolutionary paradigm shifts ranging from small satellites and open architectures to reusable launch vehicles and manned flight to Mars. All this activity equates to a very positive environment for industry participants and their technology offerings.

Are you going into the show looking for feedback or info that will influence your product offerings or direction?

Gore is a materials science company focused on discovery and innovation. With our unique materials and manufacturing expertise, our goal is to be deeply engaged with our customers to solve their most demanding challenges. Events like the Paris Air Show offer a fabulous opportunity to showcase our existing solution sets and discuss capabilities to address future challenges, while engaging our customers in an exciting, global setting. Gore is dedicated to the aerospace industry and has been a very consistent and prominent participant in Paris/Farnborough Airshow series for over 25 years.

What’s the hottest trend you’re seeing? Any bleeding-edge technology or segment to watch?

The hottest trend we are seeing is man’s insatiable appetite for connectivity. This ranges from mission critical sensor platforms to the passenger experience while traveling globally and beyond. This appetite has driven the need for continually higher performance, and the technology behind the connectivity must be high integrity, fit for the challenges of the aerospace environment. As an innovative materials science company, Gore is extremely well suited to help our customers address these challenges.

What are the biggest challenges facing the aerospace community today? How do you see them being addressed?

Some of the biggest challenges include efficiency and economy. Gore is working closely with our customers to address these in a variety of ways. In the connectivity world, a great example would be our aggressive support of open architecture protocols with products such as GORE Aerospace Ethernet Cables. Open architecture allows rapid configuration with plug and play compatibility and the ability to upgrade with ease. From a mechanical, aircraft assembly speed and efficiency perspective, GORE SKYFLEX Aerospace Materials represent enabling technology for some of the fastest methods to manufacture and repair airframes. These materials reduce man-hours needed to build aircraft and the amount of time an aircraft might be out of service for repair.

What does the rest of the year hold for you/the company? Any particular focus?

With the aerospace industry in a great state of health, Gore personnel will be embedded with our valuable customers assisting in delivering today’s platforms and developing tomorrow’s solutions.


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