Global Fastener News

2009 FIN – New Jet Cuts Fasteners 99%

January 29
00:00 2013

FASTENER HISTORY
2009 FIN – New Jet Cuts Fasteners 99%

July 14, 2009 FIN – Heralded as “a new era of aircraft manufacturing technology and performance,” the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin completed an initial test flight of the Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft, a jet with nearly 90% fewer mechanical fasteners than traditional aircraft, the U.S. Department of Defense reports.
The 87-minute flight was made June 2 at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, CA.
“The ACCA is a modified Dornier 328J aircraft with the fuselage aft of the crew station and the vertical tail removed and replaced with completely new structural designs made of advanced composite materials fabricated using out-of-autoclave curing,” according to the Defense Department.
Despite a wider and sturdier fuselage, the jet’s composite material cut the number of mechanical fasteners from 30,000 to about 4,000.
“This has the potential to change aircraft manufacturing as we presently know it, for the better,” ACCA program manager Barth Shenk stated.
The composite structure is manufactured “without complex tooling and the bonding process yields a 90% reduction of structural components and fasteners.”
Lacking traditional fasteners such as rivets, the composite structure is inherently aerodynamic. ©2009/2013 Fastener Industry News
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