EADS Socata Launches FusComp Composite Material Research & Development Program

Released on Monday, April 28, 2008
TBM 850
COO - Chief Operating Officer
EADS - European Aeronautic Defence and Space
FusComp - Fuselage Composites
LRI - Liquid Resin Infusion
EADS SOCATA has launched today the active phase of the FusComp Reasearch & Development program which takes place within the Aerospace Valley competitiveness cluster.

FusComp (Fuselage Composites), is in the manufacturing study of a composite fuselage prototype to test the vacuum Liquid Resin Infusion (LRI) process and new materials. The design of this proof-of-concept is based on the TBM 850 airframe, pressurized business turboprop aircraft currently produced by EADS SOCATA.

The launch of the active phase was preceded by an official presentation of the program on April 16th to the representatives of participating institutions among whom were Bernard Raynaud, vice-president of the Midi-Pyrenées Regional Council, in charge of economic development, Claude Miqueu, from the Hautes- Pyrenées Department council, and Fran´┐Żois Jouaillec, COO of Aerospace Valley=.

As well as EADS SOCATA, all technical partners involved in the program attended: Sicomin, Aerovac Systems France, ENIT Tarbes engineering college, Tarbes University Technology Institute and the Jean Dupuy high-school in Tarbes.

In his introductory speech, Jean-Michel Léonard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EADS SOCATA reminded the audience about the ambitions of this Program.

"FusComp is one of the pillars of our strategy. It will allow EADS SOCATA to play in the major league as a composites aerostructures manufacturer and to strengthen our role as a business aircraft manufacturer," He voncluded. Vacuum liquid resin infusion is based on the molding of high performance composite parts by infusing liquid resin on the fibers (glass, carbon or aramid) instead of prepreg fabrics molded in autoclaves. Main advantages are the use of cheaper material, a more flexible industrial process technology and manufacturing time reduction.

The FusComp project has now entered the active phase with the definition of the fuselage, involving a design office team for two years. In parallel a second team will define the new industrial processes. First parts using new processes will be manufactured in 2009 and the fuselage prototype will be completed in 2011. The FusComp task force will involve up to 50 people including partners, teachers, and students.

Source: Launch of FusComp program active phase

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