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Boeing engineer fixes wing vibration in new jet

October 24, 2011, 06:04 pm

Pio Fitzgerald, an engineer at Boeing, recently developed a solution for the company's 747-8 model, which was plagued by a situational vibration problem in the wings, according to the Seattle Times. Test pilots said that while the fluttering occurred only in certain conditions, it seriously compromised control in the aircraft, and the source noted that federal regulators would not certify the aircraft until the problem was fixed.

The news source reports that Fitzgerald was born in Ireland and developed a love of aviation at a young age, travelling often between the his home and New York, where his parents owned a pub. In his current role at Boeing, he and his team developed software that controls the ailerons - moving panels on the wing - adjusting drag to counteract vibrations before the wing begins to shudder.

"You don't pull off a technical feat like we did, in a short amount of time, without great people and great teamwork," Fitzgerald told the source.

Fitzgerald has received recognition for his achievement, which added no weight to the airplane and will require no structural changes.

Many independent and general aviation pilots, like Fitzgerald, choose to take out a pilot insurance policy, which provides coverage specifically tailored to an aviator's needs.

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