Daher Socata is at Farnborough to promote a new composite wing box that it has designed especially for business aircraft. A model of the 14m-long structure - part of its Ecowingbox research and training project - is on display at the French manufacturer's stand in hall 4.

Tarbes, France-based Daher Socata - developer of the TBM 900 single-engined turboprop - says the five-year-old research initiative “was born out of a need on the part of aircraft manufacturers to reduce the weight and drag of their aircraft and to minimise their environmental footprint”.

“OEM’s wanted to make advances in wing design. However, this was a question that was proving hard to address using metal manufacturing,” says Daher Socata, The Ecowingbox is 25% lighter and 10% cheaper to make than its metal equivalent, says Daher.

Technology derived from the project has been used on the TBM 900, which Daher says has benefited from the deployment of an out-of-autoclave composite manufacturing process "that provides greater workshop flexibility and reduces cost".

Bonding the six-seat, high-speed aircraft’s large composite subassemblies now requires fewer fasteners, which also reduces overall costs

Other areas of progress are also very promising, it says, these include "robotised finishing", which is more flexible and cost-effective than conventional machines.

Three patents have already been filed but Daher-Socata says it “does not plan to stop there”. It says: “This dynamic project is already leading us to think of projects for the future which will enable us to develop other building blocks in composite technologies that could be applied to the wing environment.”

Source: Flight Daily News