JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 37

design

Composite design challenges :
Airbus A350XWB wing covers

By

Technically advanced aircraft projects face considerable challenges: 1) design for weight, 2) design for rate; 3) design to
simplify final assembly line (FAL) processes; 4) design for a high
level of component integration. A measure of success is when all
these requirements are well balanced. The design of a complex,
one-piece, 33m-long composite wing skin is also burdened with
logistical, manufacturing and assembly challenges.
Paulo J. Teixeira-Lage
Engineering Design
Composite Airframe Expert
Airbus

T

In the 1970s, Airbus introduced for the
first time CFRP primary structures in the
A300 (first ETOPS-compliant wide-body
aircraft in 1977, used in North Atlantic
routes). Initial composite part design was
basic, but suited the limited production
rates and types of parts.
The quest to increase composite part
design accuracy gained renewed impetus
in the early 1990s when the A380 was
formally announced at Farnborough.
The importance of weight reduction, promised by composites usage (< 5% on the
A300B4), to further reduce fuel burn was

will become part of an efficient and certified aeroplane.
This article tells the story of how composite part design, manufacture, assembly
and integration evolved from the early
days, and traces its development through
all of the Airbus aircraft history.

From secondary
to primary CFRP structures
Demands on engineering followed the
trend to use more composites on larger
primary structures; there are marked
differences in the design effort of a single-

Composite wing box, wing let/wing tip detail

No89 May 2014 /

Feature Aeronautics

his article highlights the role of
advanced composite design toolsets
as primary contributors to the
industrialization and efficiency of the
wing box design process. Aspects related
to design accuracy, weight optimization
and component integration are briefly
discussed. The logic behind the development of an improved composite design
process for primary structures is explained
to help better understand its repercussions
on aircraft performance and simplified
FAL processes, which are the hallmark of
Airbus.

seen as one of several strategic aeroplane
differentiators.
Nowadays, while even more composite
parts are used (> 50% on the A350XWB)
at increasing production rates, there is a
demand for ever more sophisticated composite design tools, essential to deliver
accurate sub-assemblies to the FAL. Only
those who have witnessed the transition
from drawing boards to full 3D definition
in the last 20 years will appreciate the
challenges faced by engineering teams to
successfully translate a ply level design
into a fully functional component, which

jec composites magazine 37



JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014

Cover
Edito
Point of view: volume production
Contents
COMPANY & BUSINESS In Brief
MEA
Agenda of Events
APPLICATIONS
Race car
E-helicopter
Pipes
Consumer goods
MARKET
Brazil
U.S.
WPC
FEATURE AERONAUTICS
Integration
CMC
Prepregs
CAE
Design
Equipment
Structure
Interview
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Infusion
Process
TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATIONS
Automotive
Tow placement
Core materials
Index
In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Point of view: volume production
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - COMPANY & BUSINESS In Brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Agenda of Events
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - MEA
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 11
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Ad1
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Ad2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Race car
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 14
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - E-helicopter
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Pipes
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 17
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Consumer goods
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Brazil
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 21
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - U.S.
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - WPC
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 24
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 26
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Integration
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 28
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - CMC
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 30
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 31
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Prepregs
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 33
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 34
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - CAE
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Design
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 38
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Equipment
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 41
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Structure
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 43
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Interview
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 46
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Infusion
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 48
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 50
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Process
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Automotive
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 55
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 56
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 57
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 58
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 59
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Tow placement
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 62
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Core materials
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 64
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Index
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 67
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 68
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