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lightning protection for structures and systems on aircraft utilising lightweight composites.

Objective

The European Aviation Industry has been quick to use lightweight composite materials, especially Carbon Fibre, for primary structures and flight control surfaces. Composites are lightweight, stiff, and provide smooth, aerodynamically efficient surfaces.C arbon Fibre is particularly attractive because it has good corrosion and fatigue properties. This results in enhanced efficiency and performance and a significant weight reduction.However,lightning protection is d ifficult to incorporate into a composite aircraft compared to a conventional aluminium one. Composite airframes also give less electromagnetic shielding compared to aluminium, making it more difficult to protect avionic systems. Both aspects are worse for light aircraft because of their small size and low weight.This proposal addresses the nee d to optimise lightning protection systems for aircraft withlightweight composite structure. It will allow manufacturers to make safe use of the performance advantage provided by such materials.Work will include: The identification of lightning protection solutions for lightweight composite structure. Lightning testing and modelling of materials, structures and components to provide data to support design and certification. Materials that will be inve stigated will include: lightweight composite skins with carbon, glass or honeycomb. A test programme to develop designs and guidlines for other areas where protection is difficult to achieve or demonstrate; especially flight control surfaces, fuel syste ms, canopies, and glass fibre structure. Avionics Systems and Power Bus protection, including testing of mock up systems. On modern aircraft the dependence on sophisticated flight critical avionics requires that these systems be shown to operate during and after an aircraft strike.The project aims to reduce by 50%, the current 1.5% to 2.5% weight penalty for adding lightning protection to an empty aircraft.

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Coordinator

ERA TECHNOLOGY LIMITED

Address

Cleeve Road
Leatherhead

United Kingdom

Administrative Contact

Stephen HAIGH (Mr)

Participants (8)

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AVIATION ENTERPRISES LTD.

United Kingdom

HEXCEL REINFORCEMENTS (EUROPE)

France

DIAMOND AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES GMBH

Austria

EXTRA FLUGZEUGPRODUKTIONS- UND VERTRIEBS-GMBH

Germany

UNIVERSITY OF THE FEDERAL ARMED FORCES MUNICH (UNIVERSITAT DER BUNDESWEHR MUENCHEN)

Germany

FRAUENHOFER GESELSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.

Germany

ISCOM COMPOSITES INSTITUTE

Israel

AIRBUS OPERATIONS, S.L.

Spain

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 12270

  • Start date

    1 August 2005

  • End date

    31 January 2008

Funded under:

FP6-AEROSPACE

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 629 069

  • EU contribution

    € 882 715

Coordinated by:

ERA TECHNOLOGY LIMITED

United Kingdom