Thermoplastic skin TAPAS project is being assembled

November 2011

On November 18th 2011, Fokker Aerostructures production manager Jan Luijten toured the Gulfstream G650 assembly jig with TAPAS (Thermoplastic affordable primary aircraft structure) project team members and employees of NL Agency (an agency of the Dutch ministry of economic affairs).

A skin in a new thermoplastic composite technology was mounted in the jig. The thermoplastic skin contains new technology such as butt-jointed T-stiffeners and compares favorably with other concepts with respect to weight and cost. The torsion box, also including a thermoplastic rib, is being assembled and will then be transported to the Dutch Aerospace lab (NLR). The horizontal tail will be subjected to a full certification test program. After successful completion, Fokker Engineering is to pronounce the technology airworthy and certifiable. From that point onward, Fokker Aerostructures will offer customers products with the new technology.

Photo: Production manager Jan Luijten in front of the thermoplastic skin, flanked by TAPAS team and NL Agency employees.