The Road to Large Scale Composite Application on Wide Body Commercial Transports 2003-01-2892
In the past 25 years general aviation has been able to successfully incorporate composites to a very large scale on several certified and very successful aircraft programs. The use of composites has been used very successfully by companies like Raytheon on its Premier I, Adam Aircraft Industries on the Adams A500 and by Cirrus Design on the SR20. These programs where proceeded by tow very key programs that were not successful from a business stand point but helped pave the way, the Lear Fan and the Beech Starship. Several different manufacturing techniques have been used to produce these aircraft but the same manufacturing techniques have appeared to run into difficulties when applied to large commercial transport. General aviation has been able to use composites not only for a weight advantage but to also reduce part count and cost. Only by understanding how general aviation has used composites successfully and by building upon this history can the commercial aircraft manufactures gain the same cost and weight savings advantages that the smaller aircraft manufactures have been able to achieve.