High-Performance Composites

NOV 2014

High-Performance Composites is read by qualified composites industry professionals in the fields of continuous carbon fiber and other high-performance composites as well as the associated end-markets of aerospace, military, and automotive.

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N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 | 3 7 L E A R N M O R E @ w w w. c o m p o s i t e s w o r l d . c o m Read this article with additional graphic illustrations online at http://short. compositesworld.com/ShortHaul. (Read more about dry-fber ATL technology in "Resin-infused MS-21 wings and wingbox," HPC January 2014 (p. 29) or visit short. compositesworld.com/MS-21wings. D E F I N I N G H I G H P E R F O R M A N C E M I L L I N G D R I L L I N G R O U T I N G www.sgstool.com 330-686-5700 Manufactured in the USA SGS has designed specifc cutting tool te chnologies that combine substrate, geometry, edge preparation and coating to withstand the complex conditions of Composite applications requiring minimal fber breakout and delamination. Greater Effciency Notably, Superjet has limited the use of composite materials on its jets to what it considers "replaceable parts," and does not expect to build composite primary structure (see Fig. 7, p. 36). "The extensive use of composites increases manufactur- ing cost," Buckley contends. "In the case of large transport aircraft, the cost of com- posite technology seems to be worth the weight savings — for example, in the B787 some 25,000 lb [11,340 kg] of weight sav- ings was achieved, but at signifcant cost," he maintains. "In manufacturing the SSJ , Sukhoi wanted to have a known construc- tion material, both from a cost perspective and certifcation risk, which we consider is not balanced by weight savings in aircraft having less than 150 seats." Desirable diversity New entries in the regional aircraft mar- ket, no doubt, will make for stiffer com- petition among the participating OEMs, but that's a welcome development for re- gional air carriers. AVITAS' Miller points out that the deployment pattern — that is, how the aircraft are actually used in terms of miles traveled per fight — will be considerably short of the planes' ul- timate ranges. Moreover, the airlines' passenger seating requirements will vary greatly, depending on the route and re- gion. "One size does not ft all," he sums up, so a broad range of airplanes with a variety of seat densities is a necessity. In North America, another factor that will affect regional aircraft deployment is a contractual arrangement between airlines and the Air Line Pilots' Assn. Internation- al, which limits the number of regional jets that can be fown by a given airline. The largest pilots' union in the world, it represents 50,000 pilots employed at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. This "gives the pilots a big chip in the game overall with respect to how many of the regional airplanes can be used," Miller notes. Fur- ther, pilots must be specifcally trained and qualifed to fy regional aircraft. Con- sequently, RAA chairman Brad Holt says many RAA member airlines were forced to park aircraft and cut services in 2014 because "there simply aren't enough qualifed pilots to fy these airplanes." Challenges notwithstanding, compos- ites use will expand in the commercial aircraft market, and integration into re- gional airframes is expected to keep pace. Although incursion of composites into both the regional and jumbo jet cat- egories (less-than-150 seats and more than 300 seats, respectively) has lagged behind the trend set by OEMs in the mid-size, twin-aisle class — no regional aircraft manufacturer has yet tackled a composite fuselage — composites use in primary structure is no longer off-lim- its in any commercial transport segment. Composite wings, tail structures and other control surfaces are well estab- lished in regional aircraft, and compos- ites use in second-generation programs is unlikely to go anywhere else but up.

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