Scaled Composites, LLC performs a great deal of structural testing to evaluate and verify its structural materials and building processes.

Scaled Composites, LLC has the capability to test avionics, cockpit layouts, flight controls and conduct flight test rehearsals which allows for cost-effective decision-making on a program, and a well-prepared flight crew.

Having flight tested one new air vehicle per year on average since our founding in 1982, Scaled has the experience necessary to provide our customers with the development data they need.

Extensive use of composite materials allows the fastest possible prototype fabrication - prototypes that are very light, strong, simple and cost effective.

From cars to spaceships, Scaled is able to rapidly produce tooling that will keep our customers' projects on time.

Scaled Composites, LLC is known for innovative advances in Structural Composites Technology - not only in the aircraft field, but other areas as well.

Predictions in the areas of stability and control, performance, and handling qualities are among the areas in which Scaled excels.

Scaled has long experience in performing all types of conceptual design. Experienced designers perform most concept work in 3D CAD, which gives our customers strong technical foundations for their projects.

Structural Testing

Extensive Testing Facilities: Scaled maintains an extensive Research and Development lab in which many material specimens are tested to ASTM, MIL, and SACMA standards for composites. Tools used for coupon testing include a dual-column 30 Kip Instron electro-mechanical load frame and several ASTM certified fixtures. These tools are used to perform in-house material verification and to provide testing services for our customers. Accurate strengths and moduli can be determined for various materials. Measurements of peel and joint strength and sandwich panel properties can be evaluated. In addition, these tests can be conducted with environmental conditioning (-100°F to 350°F) and damage tolerance considerations.

Full Scale Analysis: Before a manned flight test program begins, proof loading on our customer's prototype is conducted. Since most proof-of-concept articles are designed with a high safety margin, the actual flight test article is generally used for static load verification. Strains and deflections can be measured to verify design predictions. Scaled has experience with full-scale measurements of aircraft moments of inertia. In addition, Scaled can support contracted ground vibration testing of flight vehicles.

Simulation

Summary of Simulator Uses:

• Pilot-in-the-loop flying qualities development
• Flight hardware and software verification
• Procedures training
• Performance analysis
• Ground crew training

Simulation as an Engineering Tool: Avionics hardware and software development, cockpit ergonomics, and system design are improved by simulation. Engineers can test various system interfaces, control configurations, or cockpit layouts before the flight articles are constructed. This partial “iron-bird” capability allows long-term testing of critical flight hardware.

Flight Crew Training Resource: Flight crews prepare for test flights using six degrees of freedom, non-linear, hardware-in-the-loop simulation. Instructor operator stations allow crews to train for realistic scenarios. Flight controls utilize force feedback driven by control loaders to provide realistic control forces in all flight regimes. Wrap-around display systems provide realistic views for all phases of the mission. Data can be telemetered to the mission control room to support full mission rehearsal.









Flight Testing

Experienced Staff and Pilots: Scaled Composites, LLC has an experienced staff of flight test pilots and flight test engineers. Mojave provides us with an excellent flight test environment year round.

Diverse History: Scaled's flight testing experiences are quite broad - ranging from microlights to business jets to transports to fighters to suborbital spacecraft. We have ground and flight-tested the installation and operations of a 25mm Gatling gun. In addition to manned aircraft, Scaled has experience with unmanned aircraft and the associated systems that are required for success. Scaled also has experience in the development of flight simulators, which allow significant evaluations of a design before the first flight.

Comprehensive Data Acquisition: Scaled maintains a comprehensive, state-of-the-art data acquisition capability that includes real-time air-to-ground telemetry capability. Data reduction can be performed in real-time and displayed to the pilots and ground crew. Our system of airborne computers, recorders and transducers combined with ground-based facilities provides complete information to our engineers. Data and reports can be provided to customers in the format they prefer.

Detailed Documentation: Scaled’s documentation of a vehicle’s handling qualities and performance provides our customers with timely design input. In combination with Scaled's high-speed fabrication ability, modifications and re-testing can be performed rapidly.

Having flight tested one new air vehicle per year on average since our founding in 1982, Scaled has the experience necessary to provide our customers with the development data they need.

Fabrication

HIGH SPEED AND HIGH QUALITY: The fabrication shop at Scaled Composites, LLC is known for its high-speed and high-quality work. Extensive use of composite materials allows the fastest possible prototype fabrication - prototypes that are very light, strong, simple and cost effective. We use many fabrication techniques such as filament winding and large scale, integrated co-cured components to generate very efficient structure. Many applications involve low-temperature composites that allow inexpensive and simple tooling. When requirements demand, Scaled has the facilities and experience to work with higher temperature materials. We routinely build autoclaved parts with 350°F cure and 400°F service temperature.

MULTI-DISCIPLINED: While everyone in the shop (and in Engineering too!) is a composites fabricator, there are many other areas of expertise. We have experts in the areas of flight control fabrication and integration, avionics and electrical installation, as well as mechanical system integration. Included in our facilities are a machine shop, welding shop, sheet metal shop, and painting booth. In addition, several of our shop employees are dedicated to maintaining the aircraft for our flight test programs and for other company use.

From rockets to radio-controlled airplanes, the shop personnel at Scaled have the tools and experience necessary to make our customers' projects a success.

Tooling

PRIMARY TOOLING: Scaled Composites, LLC has the facilities necessary to produce tooling for composite parts very quickly and accurately. The primary tool is a 5-axis numerically controlled (NC) gantry router. This machine can work within a 50' X 20' X 8' envelope. It is able to machine foam or other tooling materials of densities up to 50 lbs/cu-ft.

ACCURATE TOOLING FROM 3D CAD: Scaled can accept CAD surfaces of many different formats from customers to use in part definition. This data is used to create CATIA surfaces, which are then used to generate tool-path information that is fed to the NC machine. Using these techniques, very accurate tools can be built.

HARD AND SOFT TOOLING: Rapid production of 'soft' tooling allows Scaled to proceed from design to composite parts very rapidly. If desired, production-quality hard tools can be constructed from plugs that are made on the NC machine.

TOOLING FOR DIVERSE PROJECTS: While the NC capability is vital to nearly all of our projects here at Scaled, some customers approach us only for our tooling ability. Projects have included homebuilt aircraft parts, sailplane tooling and propellers. The NC room is also home to many non-aerospace applications. Projects including prototype automobiles, solar cars, models of various types, boat components and cannon molds have been tooled here at Scaled.

From cars to spaceships, Scaled is able to rapidly produce tooling that will keep our customers' projects on time.

Structural Analysis And Design

INNOVATIVE ADVANCES: Scaled Composites, LLC is known for innovative advances in Structural Composites Technology - not only in the aircraft field, but other areas as well. Many specific examples of different structural issues that Scaled has solved can be seen under our project descriptions.

FINITE ELEMENT MODELING (FEM): Scaled uses FEM software to aid in the design of structural components. Buckling analysis, modal analysis, and non-linear solutions are a few examples of FEM uses within Scaled. FEM is used in conjunction with other design software and hand calculations to provide very reliable structural designs. Our modeling techniques have been extensively validated through test results of small and large scale structures.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (R&D): Scaled is also heavily involved in R&D work in composites. Much effort is currently being placed toward developing new manufacturing techniques that will be vital to future aerospace success. In addition, new materials and processes are being evaluated on a regular basis, in our quest to identify the best materials for aerospace applications. Much of our research work focuses on cost-effective applications of composites.

DESIGN AND INTEGRATION: In addition to structural composites work, Scaled is quite experienced in the design and integration of aircraft systems. Landing gear systems on most Scaled aircraft have been designed and fabricated in-house. Almost every type of propulsion system that exists has been integrated on a Scaled project - piston, turbofan, turboshaft, turboprop, pulsed detonation, and rocket engines. Many other system components such as flight controls, hydraulics, fuel, pressurization, avionics, electrical, and ECS have been successfully incorporated in Scaled vehicles. We have also been involved with unique systems such as parachute recovery devices and rotorcraft powerplant and drive systems.

The efficient use of advanced composite materials with thoughtful system integration allows Scaled to routinely deliver products that meet or exceed our customers' requirements.

Aerodynamic Analysis And Design

FULL SERVICE ANALYSIS AND DESIGN: Scaled Composites, LLC has a strong background in complete aircraft design and analysis. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is among the large array of aerodynamic analysis tools that are used at Scaled. CFD overcomes many of the limitations that are associated with wind tunnels - high cost, inconsistency, and correction factors. CFD allows us to analyze fluid flow problems in detail, at an earlier stage in the design cycle, for less money with lower risk.

DETAILED CFD: Using a full Navier-Stokes solver, Scaled is able to perform detailed analysis in a diverse range of applications. All types of external flows, from subsonic to transonic to supersonic, can be evaluated with confidence. Laminar, turbulent, and separated regions of flow can be accurately resolved. In addition to external flows, Scaled is able to analyze many other types of problems. These include heat exchangers, internal and nozzle flows, combustion and heat transfer issues.

ADDITIONAL CAPABILITIES: In addition to CFD, Scaled uses an extensive suite of other design tools. Predictions in the areas of stability and control, performance, and handling qualities are among the areas in which Scaled excels. Scaled has a long history of design work on extremely unique and difficult airplanes. Other capabilities include: single and multiple element airfoil analysis and design, static and dynamic aeroelastic analysis, vortex lattice stability analysis, and flutter analysis.

Scaled's aerodynamic analysis and design capability, when combined with our proof-of-concept building experience, provides our customers with the most cost-effective and accurate development data available.

Conceptual Design

EVERY PROJECT that Scaled undertakes is carefully tailored to our customers' specific needs. While some clients contract Scaled to perform work all the way from concept to flight test, others utilize just a portion of the services that we offer. In addition to design, fabrication and testing, Scaled is able to help customers with many aspects of their project - including estimating, planning and management.

PROPRIETARY DATA: Scaled holds our customers' projects in the strictest of confidence. Our facilities are geared to conduct simultaneous programs while maintaining mutual propriety.

CONCEPTUAL EXPERTISE: Scaled has long experience in performing all types of conceptual design. Experienced designers perform most concept work in 3D CAD, which gives our customers strong technical foundations for their projects. Other areas of conceptual expertise include material selection, weight estimation and ergonomic considerations.

FOLLOW ON WORK: With a long history of accurate and cost-aggressive bids, many customers choose Scaled to perform further work on their projects. This could range from further design work to building a test model to launching a full-scale prototype program.
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