In the eyes of technology company Dassault Systèmes, the virtual world is quickly becoming master of the physical world.

The concept, which the French company is highlighting at the Paris air show, is abstract but fairly straightforward.

It rests on the fact that advances in computer models have enabled aerospace companies to design and test components using increasingly complex digital models in a "virtual universe", says Dassault vice-president of aerospace and defence Michel Tellier.

As technology advances, physical tests – wing load and bird strike tests, for instance – aim more to validate the theoretical models than they do to validate performance of actual components, Tellier says.

"More and more, the model is the virtual master," he says. "The only way to verify that any of this stuff works is to do it in a virtual world."

Soon, "you will break the wing to verify the model. You won't break the wing to verify the wing", he says.

Three "virtual universes" impact aviation, according to Tellier.

One universe models the design of aviation components and aircraft. Sophisticated computer platforms mesh a range of data, laying out specifications of individual parts and showing how those parts integrate and are effected by larger systems, says Tellier.

Another universe models the manufacturing process, detailing components' requirements and constraints, and helping experts design production methods, he says.

A third universe models aircraft operation, detailing how aircraft are used and how they perform in service, according to Tellier.

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Source: Flight Daily News