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Advanced Engineering 2018

DIAB Divinycell Core Saves Critical Weight in Norcos Flight Simulator Design

08 April 2014

DIAB Divinycell Core Saves Critical Weight in Norcos Flight Simulator Design

Norco GRP has opted for DIAB Divinycell core to enable critical weight loss for the Reality 7 flight simulator.

Norco GRP, began working with L-3 in 2011. The objective was to develop a new design concept for the Reality 7 flight simulator, keeping the aesthetics as close as possible to the original, whilst lowering the production cost. Following an extensive four party collaborative design stage, involving ‘Engenuity,’ ‘Rockwell Collins’ and ‘L-3,’ Norco explains it was awarded the manufacture contract in October 2012.

According to DIAB, the flight simulation industry demands light, mobile and structurally resistant components of precise dimensions that resist induced vibrations. Weight reduction is critical as it provides improved modal performance as well as a reduced life cycle cost when running the simulator on the motion system. Using high-performance sandwich core materials addresses both these issues.

The primary task for Norco was to develop the main mirror bowl, spanning 5 meters and supporting the entire visual system. DIAB explains that after more than ten years of cooperation with NORCO, the choice of core material was agreed and it provided Norco with a pre-cut Divinycell Kit that could be fitted directly into the mould, saving valuable production time and material waste. Using a combination of UD carbon fibre and glass fibre pre-preg, combined with DIAB’s lightweight foam core, Norco was able to save around 300kg, allowing the canopy to weigh in at just 135 kg.

“We have worked in partnership with Norco for many years”, says Keith Evans, Managing Director at DIAB UK. “Our cooperation began, as usual, with on-site technical advice and project discussions with support and recommendations. The fact that we back up our product offering with cost effective kit solutions and value-added services, adds extra value to our customers.”

DIAB says that overall, the Reality 7 simulator’s design development process to prototype took 18 months. Norco delivered the first Reality 7 simulator to L-3 in March 2013 and it is currently working on unit number four of a contract for 24 units in total.

Photo provided by DIAB





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