Chomarat unfolds the first wingless C-Ply aircraft

For the first time at JEC Europe 2014, French-headquartered Chomarat will present a ¼ scale version of the VX-1 KittyHawk, an aircraft, designed by VX Aerospace, which features a unique shape that is structurally efficient via Chomarat’s C-Ply advanced composite reinforcement material.

KittyHawk is wingless - the fuselage and wings are combined into one shape called a 'lifting body' or 'blended wing' aircraft. The shape of the KittyHawk has numerous advantages over traditional designs such as: greater useable internal volume, greater payload capability, better structural efficiency, better durability and better manufacturability. The construction is thus facilitated as this design will have fewer parts and therefore be easier to assemble. In addition, the aircraft can be scaled to accommodate the intended mission. Manned or unmanned, the VX-1 KittyHawk’s massive internal volume is a huge advantage.

Furthermore, it will have a smaller footprint than other aircraft when based on payload capability. The unique shape of the KittyHawk is made structurally efficient with the use of advanced composite reinforcement materials from Chomarat. C-Ply (prepregged with Cytec Industries’ resin system MTM® 45-1 to create a low density, high damage tolerant prepreg material) is the enabling material for VX Aerospace to use their established hand lay-up and oven curing processes to economically achieve properties similar to autoclave cured UD (uni-directional) prepreg and automatically placed tape prepreg. The C-Ply material is durable to handle during lay-up, drapable to accommodate the compound curvatures, and can be manufactured to fully optimize the design relative to fiber angles and ply weights… to ultimately yield a low weight, high performance, and low cost final solution.

Flight testing will begin next month, according to the working partners.


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