Jeff Bonner Research & Development, a San Antonio-based aircraft cabin component developer and subassembly fabricator, has read the tea leaves for the Asian market and responded with a high-tech version of the ancient game of mahjong for installation in private jets.
Cirrus Aircraft announced the expansion of its Grand Forks, N.D. facility to accommodate a new autoclave oven in preparation for production of the all-composite Vision SF50 jet. Modifications to the Grand Forks plant began in May and the autoclave was delivered late last week, with installation now under way.
“The building housing the autoclave will be constructed around this large piece of equipment,” Cirrus said, “and is expected to be complete by the end of July with a fully operational autoclave by mid-August.”
GE Aviation’s aerostructures division has started building a 97,000-sq-ft composites factory at Hamble in the UK. The work is part of a $50 million investment at the site to support its role in making wing components for the new Airbus A350 XWB airliner and is due to be completed in early 2015.
Bombardier relies heavily on a new factory in Belfast, Northern Ireland, run by its Short Brothers subsidiary for CSeries wing production. Built with the help of £60 million ($90 million) from the UK government, the 600,000-sq-ft plant on the northwest side of Belfast City Airport’s runway specializes in new resin transfer infusion (RTI) fabrication techniques refined at other Bombardier plants in the region, in Dunmurry and Newtownabbey.
Composite material specialist Cytec Engineered Products (Chalet C4-5) has two factory expansion projects under way. The company is also here at the Farnborough International Airshow discussing a new process that combines low-cost manufacturing and the ability to produce primary structure components.
In a large building in Belfast near where thousands of hard-working laborers hammered thick steel plates to massive ribs and fittings using thumb-size rivets to build the Titanic, Bombardier Aerospace is carving its own advanced technology niche, building wings for new aircraft models almost entirely from composite materials.
In a large building in Belfast very near where thousands of laborers hammered thick steel plates to massive ribs and fittings using thumb-size rivets to build the ill-fated Titanic ocean liner, Bombardier Aerospace is carving out its own advanced technology niche, building wings for new aircraft models almost entirely from composite materials.
Sunaero is here at the Farnborough show (Hall 1 Stand A15) promoting its quick-repair equipment and services for repair of fuel leaks in military and civil aircraft. The trend in this area is toward smaller, more portable hardware, a spokesman said. The French company is also developing a new solution for composite material repair, he noted.
Lufthansa Technik has expanded its composite workshop at its airframe related components (ARC) facility in Hamburg, Germany, to handle repairs of large composite components. The company installed a new autoclave featuring a five-meter (16.3-foot) interior diameter, and this allows curing of the largest jet engine fairings, flaps and radomes using heat and pressure.
The issue of composite repair has grown in significance with the wider use of the material in airframe construction. GKN Aerospace says it has developed hot bond heater mat technology into a highly efficient composite repair process applicable to many repair tasks.
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