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Software Aids Composite Design for Airbus A400M

15 October 2004

Vistagy has sold FibreSIM software and services to Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), based in Ankara, Turkey.

TAI, an industrial partner with Airbus, is using the software within its Catia V5 CAD modelling environment to design ailerons and spoilers for the Airbus A400M military cargo plane.

""Previously, our division principally designed metal parts"", says Murat Sorguc, Structural Design Chief at TAI. ""It was clear to us when we began designing large-scale composite parts that we would need the capabilities of FiberSIM"".

""FiberSIM is in widespread use at major aerospace companies in North America, Europe and Asia"", says Steven C Luby, President and CEO of Vistagy. ""This purchase by Turkish Aerospace, an Airbus partner with longstanding experience designing and manufacturing military aircraft, is an important milestone for Vistagy in the continued expansion of the use of FiberSIM on the A400M programme and worldwide"".

The project to build the A400M is a collaboration involving eight nations: Germany, France, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg and the UK.

When completed, the A400M will replace existing military cargo planes such as Lockheed Martin's C-130 Hercules and the European C-160 Transall, offering longer range, higher payload, and faster cruise speeds than those aircrafts.

The A400M has a number of composite wing parts, such as the ailerons and spoilers. These parts are made of hundreds of plies of composite materials that are increasingly used in aerospace because of their high strength-to-weight ratio.

Because the ailerons and spoilers undergo extreme loads during flight, it is vital that these parts be as strong as possible.

To ensure that the stringent structural requirements are met and to improve design productivity, TAI engineers will use the zone-based design methodology within the FiberSIM Advanced Composite Engineering Environment to specify laminate requirements, define transitions between zones, and automatically create the required ply geometry.

Detailed cross-sections and design stations will be used to verify that the composite design meets the structural requirements and FiberSIM will generate variable offset surfaces for the inner mould line of the part.

FiberSIM's simulation capabilities will be used to verify that the fibre deviation resulting from draping composite material over complex curvature falls within strict limits, thereby ensuring uniform part strength.

Engineers will also use tools in the software for exporting flat patterns for automated ply cutting and laser projection data to guide ply lay-up at the manufacturing division of TAI.

The A400M will go into production in 2005.





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