New Technology for Fuselage Fabrication 1999-01-3429
The Raytheon Hawker Horizon is a state-of-the art midsize business jet now entering production. The Horizon carbon fiber composite 84-inch diameter fuselage is manufactured as three sections utilizing a seven-axis fiber placement system, and assembled in the Fuselage Align and Splice Tool (FAST). The empennage is attached to the fuselage at this station as well. This assembly system conserves floor space in a production facility in which several other aircraft are assembled as well as reducing flow time, and improving assembly accuracy.
The technology employed for manufacture of fuselage sections is summarized and the assembly methods used for fuselage align and join are described. Assembly methods include laser-guided alignment of fuselage sections and automated drilling and bolt installation at two circumferential splice stations. Special features of the FAST system allow assessment of the finished product to an unprecedented level of detail.