From AviationWeek.com 2009 May
Gulfstream Aerospace recently tested the company's first all-composite wing assembly as part of a larger effort to consider an expansion in the use of composites on Gulfstream business jets. The Savannah, Ga., business jet maker has used "modest" amounts of composites in its planes, including floor panels, furnishings, fairings cover pieces and the aft pressure bulkhead section of the fuselage.
But far more extensive use is being considered, with research under way by the company's Advanced Composites Group. The group designed an 18-foot composite structural wing assembly, or wing box, which included the wing spars, ribs, stiffeners and skins. The assembly was manufactured in Gulfstream's Research and Development Center II Laboratory Building that opened in August 2008.
The wing assembly is similar to the size and shape of the outboard section of the Gulfstream G650, the company said. But at 465 pounds, the composite assembly weighs 35 percent less than its metal counterpart.
The recently completed tests included design ultimate loading with the wing in good condition and also when the wing had been intentionally damaged. "The test program confirmed that the team was able to accurately predict non-linear behavior and eventual structural failure by analysis," the company stated.
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