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Alenia Aermacchi produces a composite fuselage demonstrator

News International-French

4 Feb 2014

The One Piece Barrel (2,9 mt length and 3,5 mt diameter) has been realised with a co-bonding process where pre-cured Omega stringers are bonded on green skin.

The One Piece Barrel (OPB) demo of 90-seat advanced turboprop aircraft is based on:

  • considerable weight reduction due to more innovative multi-functional layer and multi-layer architectures
  • a better acoustic insulation
  • an increased hail impact performance
  • use of various sensor technologies to monitor the health status of the structure and report the degradation of its mechanical properties

This component represents the “pioneer” of composite technology application to such an important primary structure (fuselage) for a regional aircraft. The composite technology, based on Alenia Aermacchi background proprietary know how (patent pending), enables a complete integration of fuselage structure (one stiffened component with no mechanical joints) that makes airplanes lighter and more environmental friendly.

This technology manufacturing process has been down-selected by considering the following green advantages:

  • Single Piece Barrel substantially reduces the joints with less fasteners and sealing
  • precured stringers allow fabrication, NDI inspection and trimming in batches with reduced phases of inspection, handling and trimming respect to uncured stringers
  • reduced component weight
  • INVAR material use is minimized
  • cure on Outboard Manufacturing Liner (OML) tool stretches skin’s fibers, hence wrinkle generation risk minimized too
  • lay up mandrel and relevant implosion systems are not introduced in the autoclave
  • less cure mandrel required for high production rate because cure tool is not used as lay up mandrel

GRA Demonstration Plan to prove Clean Sky targets and laying the foundations for Clean Sky 2 challenge is confirmed once more.

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