Advances in composite aero structures are driven by three primary trends:
1) Advances in design, materials, and processes are enabling more integrated structures
2) Advances in materials and automation technologies are enabling lower cost fabrication processes
3) Implementing the digital thread to improve quality and lowering cost
Spirit advancement in composite aero structures is secured by leveraging fully integrated structures, advanced materials and continued optimization of the manufacturing systems. Examples over the last decade include 787 Section 41 and A350 S15 large assemblies with differentiated co-cured panel prepreg and automated fiber placement (AFP) technology. For the next decade it is anticipated a next level of architecture integration, performance and cost optimization will be required and therefore new range of technologies are being matured. These include resin infusion processes applied to next generation wing and fuselage structure and leveraging thermoplastics. Spirit’s progress on next generation fuselage architecture and technology as demonstrated by ASTRA (Advanced Structures Technology and Revolutionary Architecture) and how we are incorporating these industrialization improvements into current programs will be discussed. Examples for next level automation and industrialization optimization through exploiting our distinctive capability strategy will also be shared as applied to current products including progress on A320 RTM spoiler.