Following a successful test programme, a new carbon fibre horizontal stabiliser for Falcon 2000 and 900 series business jets is being manufactured at Dassault Aviation's plant in Biarritz and will soon be fitted to new Falcons at Dassault's main assembly plant at Bordeaux-Mérignac.

Dassault expects the advanced tailplane will receive joint JAA/FAA certification by mid-2000, and enter service by year's end.

While dimensionally and aerodynamically identical to the original tailplane, the new design is based on advanced materials: a cast titanium central box structure combined with spars made by resin transfer moulding (RTM) and carbon skin panels.

RTM of composite structures, which has been employed success-fully on Dassault Rafale fighter wings for some time, involves laying up carbon fibres to dry, then injecting the resin under pressure into a two-sided mould. Easier than classical wet lay up methods, RTM gives a perfect contour on both sides, is adaptable to robotic assembly and simplifies repair.

The new tail slashes the parts count from 240 metal parts to 60. It also dramatically reduces the number of required fasteners (screws, rivets, etc.) from 11,784 to 3,800, and saves 30lb (13.6kg) in weight.

Source: Flight Daily News