Just as Boeing takes the composite wing of its 787 to ultimate load in the static test rig (see Mike Mecham's earlier post), Bombardier has begun tests of a composite demonstrator wing for its CSeries narrowbody airliner, at its Belfast plant in Northern Ireland.
The demonstrator is a full-scale, three-quarter span pre-production wing, attached to a dummy center fuselage and with only the tip missing (as it's not needed for the test, the company says). Simulated main-gear leg, engine and pylon are attached.
The wing skins and spars for the demonstrator were built using the resin transfer infusion (RTI) process developed by Bombardier's Belfast operation. The components are formed from dry carbonfiber and the resin injected in the autoclave during curing.
The upper and lower composite wing skins are single pieces with integral stiffeners (stringers). The front and rear spars are also single-piece composite parts, Bombardier says. The skins are mechanically fastened to the spars and ribs.
Results from load tests on the demonstrator will be used to optimize design of the production wing, the first of which is scheduled to be delivered next year for the CSeries static-test article. First flight of the new airliner is planned for 2012.