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Advanced Primary Composites Structures


Objectives and content

An important challenge is being set by world-wide competition in the development of new low cost and mass airframes. In order to maintain the European share of this market, and in consequence preserve the jobs throughout the industry and supply infrastructure, European industrials must retain their capacity for innovation through the development of new low cost composite technology.

The primary objective of the APRICOS programme has therefore been defined as the demonstration of a 30% life cycle cost saving over conventional metal aircraft. This target contains elements of initial purchase cost, mass saving, maintenance and operational costs. The objective will therefore be achieved by a collaborative exercise to define a certification philosophy, design criteria and cost effective manufacturing technology for a representative element of fuselage structure.

The APRICOS project will be based on a generic composite fuselage. Using new concepts and technologies, pre-development work is proposed: a fuselage panel will be produced after evaluation of materials and technologies. The major steps of the programme are the following:

- Identification of the certification requirements which have to be fulfilled by a composite fuselage and definition of guidelines for the design principles.
- Definition of innovative design principles for a fuselage. - Selection of materials and technologies for the different subcomponents. - Testing of materials and determination of design values. - Development and validation of structural concepts by designing manufacturing and testing subcomponents.
- Definition and production of a demonstrator representative of manufacturing difficulties encountered in a fuselage.
- Evaluation of possible gains by comparative analysis in order to monitor the cost aspects during the development activities.

The APRICOS programme represents a first step along the R & D path required to achieve products in service. By providing initial confidence for the concept of a large composite fuselage it will contribute significantly to the longer term industrial targets.

Call for proposal

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316,route de bayonne 316
3106 Toulouse

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EU contribution
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Participants (10)