Your Selections

Bodies and Structures
Aircraft structures
Aircraft tails
Landing gear
Propellers and rotors
Wheel wells
Body structures
Body panels
Sunroofs and moonroofs
Unitized bodies and monocoque
Vehicle body pillars
Vehicle front ends
Vehicle roofs
Vehicle side structures
Air deflectors
Bumpers, fasciae and grilles
Exterior lighting
Exterior trim and molding
Underride guards
Windows and windshields
Wipers and washers
Show Only


File Formats

Content Types












Automation of Sorting and Kitting from cutting tables

Broetje-Automation GmbH-Erik Berg
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1899
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
Within the current part production of carbon fiber parts a lot of manual work is included for sorting and kitting of automatic cut plies. This is required due to the high raw material costs and enables a good utilization of the materials. Automation of this non-value adding process will be a big benefit for the part production. The high variety of shapes and the different materials to be processed are complex boundary conditions, which are to be overcome. Broetje is in development of handling systems and automation solutions, which are used for a high variety of materials as well as for a high variety of shapes. These systems are meant to be an add-on for existing cutting tables as well as for fully integrated production systems with downstream automation equipment like draping hoods. Mayor challenges to overcome are safe gripping capabilities, detection of #non-cut fibers, high variety of shapes, complex logistic management. These challenges are addressed with Broetje’s ASK Solution. This paper will focus on the innovative automated sorting and kitting solution invented by Broetje-Automation.

Reconfigurable Jig Tooling and In-Process Metrology for High Accuracy Prototype Compound Helicopter Wing Assembly

University of Nottingham-Richard J. Crossley
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1877
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
This paper documents the potential use of reconfigurable reusable jig tooling based on the box-joint system for use in the assembly of a prototype compound helicopter wing. Due to the aircraft configuration the wing design is pinned at both ends and therefore requires a higher degree of accuracy (typically 0.2mm), over the 4m length, than conventional wings. In this paper the cost benefit of reusable tooling in a low volume prototype scenario is examined followed by the design of the jig and location features to enable accurate build and metrology documentation. A prototype 4m test jig comprising of commercially available components and bespoke machined ‘pick-ups’ is presented here. Hardware and measurement process cost modelling is documented along with results for the positional and hinge-line concentricity setting accuracy that was achieved using a laser tracking system. Subsequent measurements over a 24hr period are also discussed along with potential sources of the observed reduction in jig accuracy over time.

Optimization of automated airframe assembly process on example of A350 S19 splice joint

Airbus SAS-Elodie Bonhomme, Pedro Montero-Sanjuan
SPbPU-Sergey Lupuleac, Julia Shinder, Maria Churilova, Nadezhda Zaitseva, Valeriia Khashba
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1882
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
The paper presents the numerical approach to simulation and optimization of A350 S19 splice assembly process. The main goal is to reduce the number of installed temporary fasteners while preventing the gap between parts from opening during drilling stage. The numerical approach includes computation of residual gaps between parts, optimization of fastener pattern and validation of obtained solution on input data generated on the base of available measurements. The problem is solved with ASRP (Assembly Simulation of Riveting Process) software. The described methodology is applied to the optimization of the robotized assembly process for A350 S19 section.

Advanced assembly solutions for the RACER joined-wing configuration

University of Nottingham-David Bainbridge, Konstantinos Bacharoudis, Andrea Cini, Alison Turner, Atanas Popov, Svetan Ratchev
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1884
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
The demonstrator project RACER is developed under the leadership of Airbus Helicopters Group within a large European partnership and concerns the development of new VTOL formula in order to fill the mobility gap between conventional helicopters and airplanes. Thus, RACER is a compound rotorcraft including wings and propellers. The new wing arrangement suggested by Airbus Helicopters Groups is defined as a staggered bi-plane configuration with an upper and a lower straight wing at each side of the helicopter, both being interconnected at their outermost tips, forming a triangular framework. Responsible for the design, manufacturing and assembly of the wings is ASTRAL consortium consisted of GE Aviation and University of Nottingham. The identification of the best strategy to assemble the joined wing configuration is quite challenging. In order to ensure that the final wing assembly will fit to the fuselage, a jig that simulates the fuselage was suggested by Airbus Helicopters Group. The main question raised during the assembly design and thus the objective of this work concerns whether the jig should be a one-piece structure…

Optimisation of assembly processes for Adhesive bonded Brackets onto the airframe structure

Airbus-Marco Chacin PhD, Ana De-Lozoya Nombela, Mark Burrows
Cranfield University-Jose Angel Gonzalez-Domingo, Philip Webb
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1855
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
Aircraft manufacturers use adhesive bonded brackets (ABB) to support wire harnesses, looms and sensors. Using ABBs eliminates the necessity to drill holes in the airframe and significantly reduces the assembly time. Such brackets are installed manually on the airframes in numerous locations using high strength epoxy based adhesives. In addition, the application of adhesive onto bracket is carried out manually. Thus it's time consuming and quality relies on operator’s skill sets to apply a certain quantity of adhesive using a predefined pattern, both of which are commonly not controlled. On the other hand, removing the damaged brackets by manual operations tend to cause dents and scratches in metallic airframes and delamination in composites. Prior research indicates that the brackets can be removed by heating them. But, they are not recommendable to aerospace manufacturers due to the longer process times. Therefore, it is vital to find a solution or methods to remove the ABBs without damaging any airframes. The scope of this research encompasses all the areas of design, technology and product development enabling a multi-disciplinary…

Impact of Internal Vortex Generator Length on Wing Aerodynamics

Delhi Technological University-B B Arora, Pranav Bahl, Sourajit Bhattacharjee, Vishesh Kashyap
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1892
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
Flow separation is among the major causes of aerodynamic drag experience by wings. Vortex generators are regularly used as a means of flow separation control in wings, their use leading to delayed flow separation and drag reduction. A disadvantage of external vortex generators has been observed to be high momentum loss and inefficiency in vortex generation. Internal vortex generators minimize the penalty of momentum loss and generate vortices closer to the surface. In this paper, the impact of the length of internal vortex generators on the aerodynamic characteristics of a wing have been investigated. Internal vortex generators have been placed at 30% chord distance on the suction side of a NACA 0012 airfoil. Analysis is carried out using the Computational Fluid Dynamics software ANSYS Fluent. The length of the vortex has been varied between H and 5H, H being the thickness of the boundary layer, at air flow Reynolds Number between 1,000,000 and 5,000,000. An optimum length of vortex generators for drag reduction is hence obtained.

Landing Gear Integration into Aircraft Structure in Early Design Stage

Bauhaus Luftfahrt EV-Ulrich Kling, Mirko Hornung
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1890
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
The demanded development towards various emission reduction goals set up by several institutions forces the aerospace industry to think about new technologies and alternative aircraft configurations. With these alternative aircraft concepts, the landing gear layout is also affected. Turbofan engines with very high bypass ratios could increase the diameter of the nacelles extensively. In this case, mounting the engines above the wing could be a possible arrangement to avoid an exceedingly long landing gear. Thus, the landing gear could be shortened and eventually mounted at the fuselage instead of the wings. Other technologies such as high aspect ratio wings have an influence on the landing gear integration as well. To assess the difference, especially in weight, between the conventional landing gear configuration and alternative layouts a method is developed based on preliminary structural designs of the different aircraft components, namely landing gear, wing and fuselage. Simplified parametric finite element structural models for the different components are introduced. These models are used to investigate different aircraft configurations with special regard on the landing gear integration. The…

Numerical Analysis of a Cycloidal Rotor Under Diverse Operating Conditions and Altitudes

Universidade Da Beira Interior-Mehdi Habibnia Rami, Jose Pascoa
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1872
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
The current paper deals with the numerical study of the downwash flowfield characteristics in a cycloidal rotor. In an aircraft equipped with this kind of thruster, the downwash flow plays significant role in different flight modes. The interaction of this downwash jet with ground in effective height levels is studied using CFD simulations. Several operating conditions like pitching oscillation angles, rotation speeds and height levels are all considered in this work. The results declare that close-ground operating states augments the efficiency of cyclorotor. The vertical and horizontal forces of a single blade is also analyzed in a complete cycloid in different operating conditions. A lead and lag in maximum and minimum extremes of force curves of a single blade cycloid is obtained while being subjected to different functional conditions. These results strongly assure that an active control of both pitching oscillation and rotation speed is essential in operating at the optimum desired state.

Forces vibration assistance for TA6V/CFRP drilling

  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1874
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
For aircraft structures, mechanical assembly using fasteners remains the most common technology. The setting of the numerous fasteners requires a large number of drilling operations. In the case of CFRP/TA6V stacks, the drilling still remains a technological challenge. Indeed the high-quality requirements by the aeronautic standards are limited by the fast damaging drilling tool phenomena. For TA6V, the forced assisted drilling provides a breakthrough technology. An axial forced oscillating displacement on the feed direction of the tool allows the creation of segmented chips. Those small chips are then easily evacuated from the cutting area using a vacuum device. This allows the improvement of the hole’s roughness and mastering the burr creation at the exit of the hole. The lubrication process is also enhanced during the exit sequence of the tool. For the CFRP/TA6V configuration, the segmented geometry of the chip avoids the roughness degradation on the composite part of the stack. This parameter can modify the cyclic bearing performance of the assembly. In this paper, the different forced drilling industrial solutions are analyzed. More specifically,…

A portable numerical control drilling template

Allison Schraier
Electroimpact Inc.-Glauber Lopes Mosqueira
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1876
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
The automation market for aircraft assembly features several options, from deployable crawlers through mobile industrial manipulators to large scale riveters, not to mention fiber layup machines. When drilling, such equipment will typically handle at least a few hundred holes in a given area and setup, with the part most often being a nearly flat panel free of obstructions or with obstructions with a constant cross-section such as stringers. Automation is now widely employed in the manufacturing of wing and fuselage panels and major segment joints, to name a few uses. The assembly of inner structures, however, and especially those in the range of a hundred holes or less, located in areas of limited access crowded with other product structures or even positioning fixtures sitting outside and preventing machine access, is still largely manual and dependent on drilling templates or jigs (DJs). These are robust tools of simple use and very low maintenance, yet of relatively high manufacturing costs (many require 5-axis machining) and design costs (most are one off tools), low flexibility (cannot absorb product…