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May 2006 edition

ALCAS project moves to reduce aircraft assembly costs

Aircraft production processes should be streamlined as a result of a ?100 million research programme focused on developing the next generation of low-cost lightweight aircraft structures from advanced composite materials.

The Advanced Low Cost Aircraft Structures (ALCAS) programme has four major work packages – airliner wing, airliner fuselage, business jet wing and business jet fuselage.

Glenn Watson, ALCAS Airliner Wing project manager, said: “ALCAS is looking to reduce the number of sub-assemblies and improve assembly times.” He added: “It is most likely that production processes will be enhanced and adapted for new applications although it is possible that new processes may be invented.”

The majority of cost-savings will come from developments in the application of carbon fibre materia....

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