Boeing and Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have extended their strategic research programme for a further five years. The partnership has already been running for 23 years, and the latest A$25 million ($26 million) extension will focus on research in the areas of space sciences, advanced materials, energy and direct manufacturing.
The partners have previously invested around A$110 million in research into areas including sustainable aviation fuels, aircraft assembly processes, fire retardants, aircraft maintenance management software, information and communication systems and the Smart Skies project that is developing flight systems and technologies to allow the reliable integration of unmanned aerial vehicles into civilian airspace.
One of a number of technologies developed through the partnership that is providing industry benefits is a "spray-on and leave-on" paint technology. It involves applying a metal alkoxide-based surface treatment that modifies and activates an aged paint surface, forming a strong chemical bond with a fresh paint layer. The technology has been applied to more than 800 commercial aircraft, including recent deliveries to Qantas and Virgin Australia, and has resulted in multi-million dollar cost savings, replacing a time-consuming and laborious aircraft repainting process.
The successful partnership with CSIRO contributed to Boeing establishing Boeing Research and Technology Australia in 2008, which now has laboratories in Brisbane and Melbourne.