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Geometrically-locked aerostructures manufactured without fasteners

Elbit Systems : 24 June, 2013  (Company News)
Elbit Systems offers advanced integral composite aerostructures that significantly cut costs and shorten lead time. Examples are On display at Le Bourget, Paris Air Show.

Cyclone’s core business is manufacturing and maintenance of aircraft structures as well as engineering, manufacture, repair and upgrade of aircraft, UAS and helicopters. Cyclone manufactures both metal and composite structural parts for UAS, military aircraft such as the F-15 and F-16, and civil aircraft such as Boeing’s 747, 767 and “Dreamliner” 787. Cyclone’s customer base includes the Israeli Air Force,, the US Air Force, as well as several major aviation companies, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky.

Following intensive development efforts, Elbit Systems – Cyclone has achieved a highly advanced integral composite structural design that is manufactured with “zero fasteners” in a genuine “one-shot” processing. Elbit Systems’ composite structures are extremely lightweight, stronger and cost effective, while enhancing overall flight safety and aircraft structural performance.

Composite door design

The new technology “fastener free” composite door design is manufactured in “one shot” with the use of integral composite fittings, a sophisticated and highly efficient structural design that reduces operational and manufacturing costs. Cyclone’s innovative design utilises geometrically-locked composite fittings that are embedded between the main frame layers, co-bonded and mechanically locked to the main frame beams with no fasteners.

The all-composite aircraft passenger door is lightweight and enables minimal and low-cost processing steps using advanced Resin Transfer Molding (“RTM”) technology

This extremely cost effective patented door is 30% lighter than current same size black aluminium designs, avoiding extra processes such as riveting, screwing or robotically stitched performs, and instead, including plain weave fabric and unidirectional tape that exploits the anisotropic characteristics of composite materials.

To realise improved life-cycle costs, Cyclone chose to produce this door with toughened epoxy resins, which provide increased impact resistance.


Cyclone`s fully composite winglet structure is built from only two parts:

The upper part, comprised of an integrated skin, durable leading edge, tip cap and stiffeners;
and the lower part, comprised of an integrated skin, spars and ribs.

The winglet provides a weight saving and affordable solution by using monolithic carbon epoxy prepreg that is processed by Out Of Autoclave technology. Related advantages of Cyclone`s winglet are reduced lead time and longer life span.

Control surface

Cyclone`s cost reduced control surface is an integrated fastener-free composite structure. Manufactured in an innovative “one-shot” process by advanced RTM technology without using any core materials, Cyclone`s control surface utilises composite fittings that are geometrically locked and co-bonded to the main structure. The patented fastener-free control surface structure eliminates the need for assembly of structural parts, while offering a highly efficient aerodynamic and structural solution with a longer life span. The control surface is made of a monolithic standard type of carbon fabric and is manufactured quickly and simply to provide shortened lead time.


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