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    SDC to Fabricate Stiffened Fuselage Test Panels

    SDC to Fabricate Stiffened Fuselage Test Panels for Sandia National Labs' FAA and EASA Effort


    Barry Neighbors
    Stiffened Fuselage Panel Fabricated by SDC

    San Diego, CA, August 26, 2011 San Diego Composites, Inc. (SDC) has been awarded a contract by Sandia National Labs to support fabrication of stiffened fuselage test panels. SDC has been supporting UC San Diego, Bishop, and now Sandia in multi-year efforts funded by the FAA and EASA to conduct research on wide area blunt impact of composite aircraft. Impact damage resulting from collisions of ground vehicles/equipment with aircraft structural components, as well as from events such as hail and bird strikes, is a significant source of damage to commercial aircraft that has the potential to go by undetected. SDC has been working closely with UC San Diego, who is leading the research effort. Team members include SDC, Boeing, Airbus, and other industry members. The FAA objectives for this research include:

    • Identify blunt impact scenarios of major concern to airlines and OEMs and develop blunt impact threat characterization and prediction methodology
    • Determine what conditions relate to development of massive damage occurring with minimal or no exterior visual detectability
    • Identify content to update CMH-17 Damage Tolerance and Supportability chapters and FAA composites maintenance training standards.
    • Identify areas for safety-related standardization of composite damage tolerance and maintenance and related research needed in the future

    SDC will complete fabrication of the Sandia units in 2011. This will include fabrication of two stringer panels, primed and painted, and assembled with shear ties. The panels will be delivered to UCSD for integration of composite frames and subsequent shipment to Sandia for impact testing. SDC is committed to providing its customers high quality, innovative, and cost-effective technologies. For more information on this project or other aircraft structure capabilities, please contact
    Dan Jacobson at (858) 751-0450.

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