Fibre Reinforced Composite Applications at De Havilland 810640
Fibre reinforced composites have been used in de Havilland aircraft since the late forties. The DHC-5 Buffalo and the DHC-6 Twin Otter continue the use of glass fibre in polyester and epoxy matrices.
The 50 passenger Dash 7 makes extensive use of aramid fibre reinforced composites. The 36 passenger Dash 8 aircraft, presently in the design stage, will probably see a greater application of composites than the Dash 7. Applications are all secondary structure, ranging from simple fairings to load carrying components.
This paper describes the de Havilland experience with fibre reinforced composites, particularly applications on the Dash 7. Interior and exterior applications, together with some design, testing and manufacturing aspects are covered. Proposed Dash 8 applications and some special applications are also briefly covered.