Summer Project - Carbon Fiber Guide

By Alexis Basset – July 27, 2020

The micro class team of 2019-2020 had an ambitious project for the competition. In fact, a flying wing configuration was chosen, coupled with a quite thin airfoil. Moreover, with an analysis of the weight lifted by the aircraft and the available dimensions, a large wingspan was necessary. Thanks to the advances made by the 2018-2019 team, it was possible to foresee building the wing entirely out of composites. However, the methodology was lacking. The manufacturing of the wings primarily in carbon fiber was chosen due to its dimensions being non-conservative and the uncertainty of the resistance to the stress the wings will endure. This way, it was possible to have a structure much more solid. This manufacturing method was essential to the success of the team and the results were surprising! Even though this technique allowed us to build our progressive configuration, it was a great challenge. In fact, the development of a functional methodology proved to be difficult. The help of Jacques Girard from MATS was hugely appreciated throughout this part of the project! Unfortunately, the long construction process meant that the team was only able to make one spare wing. Thus, in the case of any breaks, it was not always possible to change the parts and repairing just one section of composite proved to be rather difficult. The team of the micro department 2019-2020 is very happy with the results despite the short duration of the flights! It was an incredible learning experience.

Throughout the summer, I’m writing a guide with all that we learned throughout the year on carbon fiber for the future members of the micro class team. I look forward to seeing what they will accomplish with these new tools.