The still-under-wraps Dassault Falcon SMS (super-midsize) will feature an empennage made entirely of composite materials, sources have told AIN. Dassault has reportedly tapped Fokker to supply the complete empennage, using thermoplastic resin. AIN understands that these will be the largest thermoplastic composites parts yet used in civil aviation. These materials are said to be more expensive but easier to manufacture and more impact-tolerant than thermosets.
HighTech Finishing recently expanded its facility, adding 15 new tanks to allow the company to offering plating on plastic. “Many aviation manufacturers are employing new methods to decrease aircraft weight, and using plastic can be one of the options,” explained v-p of marketing Rick Niefield.
Catering is going green. In this case, green doesn’t refer to salads or veggies, beans or tea, but rather the tableware on which they’re served– cups, bowls, plates.
Environmentally friendly, this tableware is biodegradable and/or compostable and made from fast-growing, renewable plant materials, from bamboo to sugar cane.
Ongoing research into new composite materials is expected to yield major enhancements in performance, weight and cost for the aerospace industry in the coming years. New ways of laying up carbon fiber, such as weaving, are already enabling more complex shapes. Thermoplastic resins are making manufacturing easier, and the practice of integrating several functions into one part is reducing part counts.
DeCrane Aircraft Holding’s Cabin Management Group continues to grow and, in particular, to expand its furniture and cabinetry capabilities. In the past year, its subsidiary specialists–Carl F. Booth, Custom Woodwork and Plastics, DeCrane Cabin Interiors, Infinity Partners, Newco and Precision Pattern–have contributed furniture and cabinetry components for one VIP-configured 777, two BBJs and one BBJ2.
Manufacturers are relying more on composite materials for business aircraft construction thanks to a drop in manufacturing costs and better automation. Largely because of improved curing processes, OEMs are gradually eliminating expensive tooling and slashing the overall number of parts needed for a given aerostructure.
3M Aerospace (Booth No. 641) has developed a flame-retardant tape for use in the aerospace industry, the company announced here at NBAA’07.
The future of composites may lie in carbon nanotubes. Nano composites have already found their way into cars and sports gear, and now specialists in this technology are looking for aerospace applications.
Plastic thermoforming specialist Dedienne Plasturgie, a sibling of Dedienne Aerospace, manufacturer of aircraft maintenance, tooling and ground support equipment, is in the business of replacing conventional aircraft metallic parts with plastic versions, integrating several functions. This translates into fewer, lighter parts.