Aviation professionals to discuss why it takes so long to get new plane flying

Airline and aviation engineering professionals, including a former Boeing executive, will discuss the state of today's airline industry during a panel presentation April 8 at the Museum of Flight in Tukwila.

Featured speaker will be Jim Albaugh, former CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and incoming president of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The panel also includes Martin Waide, a mechanical-engineering veteran with 60 years of experience in motor racing and unmanned aircraft; Tad McGeer, founder of the unmanned aircraft companies Insitu and Aerovel; and Abe Karem, the founder of Karem Aircraft and the inventor of the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle.

The free event at 7 p.m. is sponsored by Washington's Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation.

During the 1960s, airliner production typically progressed from design to airline service in four years. Today, the development of new airliners takes about twice as long, despite advances in the state-of-the-art, and the use of vast computing power meant to dramatically advance productivity.

The April 8 panel will discuss the possible causes and remedies, including the uses of CAD and other modern tools, competitive pressure or lack thereof, management techniques, and even office layouts.

Audience participation is encouraged.

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