GKN picks VISTAGY software for CSeries winglet design

GKN Aerospace will use VISTAGY's FiberSIM and SyncroFIT software packages to design winglets for Bombardier's CSeries aircraft program.

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VISTAGY Inc. (Waltham, Mass., USA) announced on June 2 that GKN Aerospace (Isle of Wight, U.K.) has purchased SyncroFIT software for developing airframe assemblies, as well as VISTAGY professional services. GKN Aerospace will use SyncroFIT in conjunction with FiberSIM composites engineering software to manage the evolving product development process and deliver an optimized winglet for Bombardier's CSeries aircraft program.

GKN Aerospace has used FiberSIM for more than eight years to design a variety of highly complex composite parts, including the winglets on the Boeing 767, the leading edge for the Airbus A380 wings and the wing spars for the Airbus A400M. The adoption of SyncroFIT for the CSeries winglet extends the ongoing partnership between the companies.

Based on processes developed in conjunction with VISTAGY on the Boeing 767 winglet, GKN Aerospace used FiberSIM to migrate from a ply-based to a structure-based design approach that helps the company react quickly to the inevitable design changes that occur during structural optimization of composite parts. Engineers will now use SyncroFIT to define fasteners early-on in order to provide procurement with precise and up-to-date bills of materials (BOMs), while compressing the fastener management process. GKN Aerospace will also use SyncroFIT to manage the interactions of composite details within assemblies so that its engineers can validate that fastener design rules have been met and that the ripple effect of changes during skin thickness updates are propagated throughout the assembly.

"Defining holes and fasteners is a critical issue for developing composite aircraft because the variation in skin thickness drives the need for a wide array of fasteners and adds complexity to the design," said Justin Elliott, GKN Aerospace's chief engineer on the CSeries aircraft winglet program. "SyncroFIT unravels this complexity by enabling us to easily author and capture complete digital representations of airframe assemblies and share critical design and manufacturing detail more efficiently. VISTAGY's software and services will enable us to take an integrated approach to design and airframe assembly that will help us meet our goals."