Ten Years of Flight Service with DC-10 Composite Rudders — A Backward Glance 861674

Carbon-epoxy upper aft rudders have been successfully evaluated on the DC-10 during 10 years of airline flight service. They have flown for more than 320,000 flight hours, with 36,000 flight hours flown by a single rudder. The rudder box is of thin-skin buckled construction and is cocured out-of-autoclave as a one-piece assembly. Weight saving on the rudder itself was 33 percent, but total weight saving can exceed the rudder weight if full advantage is taken of removing balance weight from the forward rudder.


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