Matrix Composites (Rockledge, FL, US) will make and supply the XCOR Lynx Mark I spacecraft composite chine panels for XCOR Aerospace (Mojave, CA, US). The XCOR Lynx has an all-composite airframe and is a piloted, two-seat, fully reusable liquid rocket-powered vehicle that takes-off and lands horizontally.
“The chines allow the Lynx fuselage to have a continuous aero surface from the tip to the back of the strakes,” said XCOR Chief Technology Officer Jeff Greason. “Once the strakes are bonded and the nose is installed, the chines will be added to unify the space between the two, with some custom fitting at each end.”
The chine panels are an integral part of the structural airframe and will allow access to vital life support and flight control system components that are mounted within the spacecraft. The panels are a carbon fiber and epoxy sandwich laminate with a lightweight foam core. Matrix Composites will manufacture the chine panels in its Rockledge facility with completion expected by June 2015.
“As Lynx comes together at Hangar 61 in Mojave, we are expanding our presence in Florida, the future home of our Lynx manufacturing facilities,” said XCOR Chief Executive Officer Jay Gibson. XCOR Aerospace is expanding its Florida presence through a partnership with Space Florida. The company plans to locate its Lynx Mark II manufacturing facilities at Kennedy Space Center.
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The project’s goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines by 30 percent for composite aircraft.