Fri, 08 December, 2023
A video has been released showing the assembly of the lower half of a multifunctional aircraft fuselage demonstrator.
TWI coordinated the TCTool project that delivered the demonstrator, which is one of the world’s largest thermoplastic aerostructures.
The Clean Sky-funded project saw TWI work alongside GKN Fokker, Brunel University London, London South Bank University, Acroflight Ltd and FADA-CATEC to develop innovative tooling, end effectors and industrialisation for the welding and assembly of the thermoplastic demonstrator that is now being housed at Fraunhofer.
The trials for the TCTool project were performed at SAMXL’s premises at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, where the TCTool technologies were implemented and showcased under the guidance of GKN Fokker and SAMXL’s technical teams.
The use of thermoplastic materials in aircraft reduces manufacturing costs and also aids the environment by lowering the weight of aeroplanes and thereby reducing their fuel consumption. Using welding processes to join these components also reduces manufacturing costs and improves reliability.
The 8 by 4 metre structure includes over 400 thermoplastic fibre-reinforced parts and thousands of spot welds and you can see the video of its assembly, below:
You can find out more about the TCTool project here.
The TCTool project was funded as part of the Clean Sky initiative under grant agreement number 865131.