Phase two manufacturing of sheet metal airframe fabrications and composite materials for the civil market has started at the Smiths Aerospace structures facility at Suzhou in China’s Jiangsu province, about 80 miles west of Shanghai. The first phase of the facility, opened last year, manufactures precision-machined aircraft engine components.
Tests currently under way at the Airbus UK facility in Filton are exploring technologies aimed at extending the use of advanced composite materials on the main wing of future airliners such as the A350.
The recently unveiled Spectrum 33 business jet can be categorized as “very light” in terms of weight and yet its cabin is roomier than that of a Cessna Citation CJ2, which would not be categorized in the very light jet (VLJ) class. The new airplane’s composite airframe and its additional electric systems are no strangers to this paradox. The first prototype built by U.S.
Extending paint life and preventing corrosion are money-saving claims for the use of Xzilon, a liquid formula developed by Granitize of South Gate, California. Xzilon has been certified for application by major airframe manufacturers such as Airbus and Boeing.
PZL-Swidnik last month handed over the 500th airframe–an AW139–it has produced for AgustaWestland. The Polish company builds all the fuselages and tail booms for the AgustaWestland A109E Power, A109S Grand, A109 LUH and A119 Koala helicopters and is a risk-sharing partner with AgustaWestland on the AW139. Last year the company delivered more than 100 airframes to AgustaWestland.
Reacting to potential safety vulnerabilities in flight control systems installed on Part 25 business jets, the FAA is amending the airworthiness standards for autopilot, autothrust and flight guidance systems. Based on a 2004 FAA proposal and input from airframe and avionics manufacturers, effective May 11 the amended rules require automatic flight control design changes in newly certified business jets with mtow greater than 12,500 pounds.
Merritt Island, Fla.-based Comp Air recently unveiled plans to certify its 10-seat, all-composite Comp Air 12 turboprop single. The Honeywell TPE331-14GR-powered airplane is expected to enter flight testing in the fourth quarter, with certification slated for 2009.
General aviation manufacturers continue to show steady growth in deliveries and backlogs. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), airframe builders delivered 2,842 piston and turbine airplanes in the first nine months of this year-nearly 19 percent more than the 2,391 shipments made in the same period last year.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of carbon-fiber reinforced plastics?
Boeing adopted the mantle of systems integrator in a big way with the 787, calling on a group of international partners to produce complete subassemblies for an aircraft that it will assemble in days. It also took the bold step of opting for a composite primary structure throughout, with advantages including lower maintenance costs, increased airframe life and significantly reduced weight.