MADRID—Bombardier Aerospace’s Belfast facility is working to establish composite repair procedures for the CSeries, testing potential events such as heat exposure and lightning strikes.
“For entry-into-service, we’re doing all sorts of analysis and testing to make sure the repairs are robust,” Bombardier’s Director of Engineering & Component Services Michael Curran said at MRO Europe. “We’re doing a huge amount of work into events that might occur during the life of the aircraft and we are already starting to change these into proper instructions.”
This involves envisioning scenarios that could affect aircraft structure, along with potential indicators of that damage, he explained. The area for removal and repair must then be identified, before a fix can be designed and put into the manual.
“We are working in-house to determine allowable damage and establish repair techniques,” he said.
Bombardier, which is aiming to have the CSeries in service sometime in the second half of 2015, has already performed a series of heat-exposure trials on sections of the CSeries’ composite structures. This includes simulating overheat events at various temperatures and then looking for tell-tale discolorations in coatings, such as the primer and top coat. This will help identify potential faults during visual inspections.
It has also run lightning strike tests, both with and without the expanded copper-foil coating designed to dissipate the charge. Finally, Curran is examining potential hot spots for maintenance-related damage, such as in and around the access panel on the underside of the wing.
“The big message to take out of this is we’re not going to be doing carbon-type repairs,” he said. “These are metallic repairs that bolt-on to the structure, which should make it easier for MROs and airlines. It is not necessary at this point to do carbon repairs everywhere.”