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Single-Process, Unitized, Composite Fuselage, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

NASA seeks tailored airframes and structures to reduce structural mass in support of the NASA Aeronautics Strategic Implementation Plan (2015), following the Roadmap for Ultra-Efficient Commercial Vehicles, Subsonic Transport. Tailored structures are comprised of the right materials, at the right place, in the right orientation, in the right amount. Whatever the material or structural configuration, excess weight is driven out through optimization, within the limitations of the manufacturing approach. CRG has been laying the foundation for the design and production of tailored structures for more than a decade. CRG's vision for tailored airframes and structures begins with unitization, enabled by Smart Tooling for affordable manufacturing of complex composites. CRG began work on Smart Tooling for fuselages in 2005, targeting fully-integrated, single-process skins, stringers, and frames. CRG subsidiary Spintech launched in 2010 to commercialize Smart Tooling into the aerospace industry, and soon after demonstrated a quarter-scale unitized fuselage. Today, CRG brings robust capabilities in composite structural optimization, expanding capabilities in aerospace composite fabrication, leading-edge understanding of hybrid nano-composites, and Spintech's Smart Tooling technology to provide NASA with advanced, highly-tailored fuselage configurations with unmatched structural efficiency. More »

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