STUNNING:
Thermoplastic composite fuselage assembly

This full size composite fuselage section of 8 meter long and a diameter of 4 metres gives a glimpse of a next-generation aircraft. In the aerospace industry's search to sustainability, SAM|XL is developing an intelligent manufacturing system for one-shot assembly of the lower half of a fuselage section. Thermoplastic composite skins, frames, stringers and frame clips will be assembled involving a wide range of automated welding techniques. In this European project we collaborate with partners GKN-Fokker and TU Delft.

Duration

September 2021 - October 2022

Partners
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News

Purpose

The aeronautical sector is a critical player in contributing to smart, green and integrated transport, as defined by Horizon 2020. Proper fuselage, cabins and systems integration technologies is considered one of the most viable opportunities that can offer a potential double digit (10%+) decrease of fuel burn and CO2 emission, as well as reducing  NOX and noise emissions. STUNNING will address this opportunity by demonstrating the use of new and advanced thermoplastic materials, and manufacturing techniques in the fuselage assembly.

Multifunctional fuselage demonstrator

The 8 meter long narrow-body airliner fuselage will integrate engineering, manufacturing, assembly and, overall technology maturation, targeting a significant increase of fuselage build rates, dramatically reduced recurring costs, as well as substantial weight reduction at fuselage level.

At SAM|XL the lower half-fuselage section is being assembled. Integrating skin, reinforcement stringers, cabin floor and a cargo structure.

SAM|XL engineers are working on the following innovative techniques for this project:

  • Ultrasonic welding of fuselage structure

  • Stringer Robotic pick and place / automation of assembly

  • Advanced manufactering process simulations

  • Simulation methods for virtual testing

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Render of the fuselage structure

Media

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This project has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 945583.

Funding