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.
GKN Aerospace has developed a new repair process allowing hot-bonding of composite structure inside an autoclave. Autoclaves are used to manufacture complex composite parts by using heat and pressure to cure the components in a controlled environment. Repairing composite parts in normal atmospheric conditions requires costly specialized materials.
According to Alenia Aeronautica, it is meeting its commitments as a supplier for the Boeing 787 and has not contributed to the delays the program is suffering. The Italian company delivers complete composite fuselage sections to Global Aeronautica, its joint venture with Vought in Charleston, South Carolina, which subsequently adds components to the structures before shipping them to Boeing’s final assembly line in Everett, Washington.
Adam Aircraft is getting closer to the major milestone of FAA certification of the A700 very light jet and last month reported receiving its first Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) from the FAA. This TIA allows FAA pilots to fly the A700 for the flight tests needed for credit during the final stages of certification.