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October 2005 edition

Work on one-piece fuselage nears completion

Advanced Composites Group has designed and manufactured an advanced mandrel composite tool to enable the manufacture of an advanced aircraft structure - a one piece fuselage.

Based on a 4:5 scale Dassault Falcon business jet front fuselage, the structure has been made from carbon fibre. It was designed by Dassault Aviation in conjunction with BAE Systems and manufactured using fibre-placement technology, where instead of the traditional method of carbon fibre plies being laid by hand, individual strips of carbon fibre are placed on to a mould.

The project forms part of a 10.3m euro ‘full barrel composites’ programme called FUBACOMP, which aims to develop European capability in fibre placement.

Other partners involved in the programme include Brunel University, CEAT and Eurocopter (France and Germany).

Traditionally, a small civil aircraft fuselage would comprise many individual components and thousands of fasteners, which would be used to attach external panels to the substructure. The one-piece fuselage manufactured in this project is constructed using predominantly carbon fibre and honeycomb, with foam or carbon inserts in appropriate areas for additional strength.

The mandrel is the profile of the forward section of a business aircraft containing windshield, door and windows to simulate a representative section of this type of fuselage. It was used for the process development and manufacture of the test article fuselage section t....

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UMECO Composite Design Consultants, Tooling, Composite Manufacturing Services, Aramid-reinforced Composites, Composite Moulding, Epoxy Resins, Composite Adhesive, Resins, Carbon-reinforced Composites, Fibreglass, Prepreg, Mandrels
Dassault Aviation Airframer
BAE Systems plc Airframer
Airbus Helicopters Airframer

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