Number News Graphic


This month,as we break down the engineering news in numbers, we see big figures from the Ministry of Defence, Brazil and Virgin Trains among others.


BAE Systems has delivered the 100th RAF Typhoon to the Ministry of Defence. As part of the Eurofighter Typhoon consortium the company is responsible for the production of key aircraft parts including the front fuselage, foreplanes, windscreen and canopy as well as carrying out the final assembly of all UK Typhoons at Warton, Lancashire.


Electricity generated by 16,000 solar panels on the roof of a high-speed rail tunnel in Antwerp is powering infrastructure (signalling, lighting, station heating) and trains on the Belgian railway network. Covering an area of 50,000m2, the Solar Tunnel is expected to produce 3.3MWh a year. The project is a collaboration between Belgian rail operator Infrabel, renewable energy developer Enfinity, the municipalities of Brasschaat and Schoten, finance companies FINEA and IKA, and solar construction company Solar Power Systems.


Two operational Galileo satellites will be launched on 20 October, the European Commission has announced. This will be the first in a series of launches in the EU's global satellite navigation programme and will lead to the provision of initial positioning services in 2014. The constellation should be complete by 2019.


Brazil's Madeira River Interconnection will become the world's longest power transmission link when it goes online in 2013.With a route length of 2,375km across five states and 86 towns and cities, the 600kV HVDC link will transmit 3,150MW of power from the Rondônia hydroelectric plant to São Paulo.

Three Nexans plants in Brazil will produce the overhead lines for the first circuit – 6,700km of aluminium conductor with a bespoke cross-section developed specifically to provide the desired electrical and mechanical properties for this project.

The 1,700km AC line between Inga and Saba in Zaire holds the record today.


Virgin Trains' fleet of Pendolino tilting trains have clocked up 100 million miles since they first entered service in June 2002. The 52-strong fleet covers 16.8 million miles a year, meaning that each train does a million miles in little more than three years, on services between London and Manchester, the West Midlands, Liverpool, Cumbria and Scotland.

The trains were designed and built by Alstom, which also maintains them, using a 'pit stop' approach at its depots, whereby all parts and staff are in the right place at the right time when the train arrives.


Mobile application downloads will reach nearly 48 billion in 2015, according to In-Stat, driven by a big growth in smartphones with touchscreens.

Smartphones are expected to increase from 23 per cent of total phone shipments in 2010 to 45 per cent in 2015.

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