We did it! After four years of planning, designing, engineering, testing, retesting and – finally – welding we celebrated the successful completion of the STUNNING project this week. The thermoplastic Multi-functional Fuselage Demonstrator (MFFD) was built up to full aircraft design specifications, including features such as lightning strike protection. At a length of 8 meters, it’s the largest of its kind in the world.

This monumental achievement was made possible through the tightknit collaboration within the Clean Sky 2 consortium, combined with the support from our other partners and suppliers. As a collaborative research centre, SAM XL provided the setting for the project along with material science and manufacturing automation expertise. Our main focus was to join structural parts through automated ultrasonic welding and to facilitate automation of the entire sub-assembly process of the demonstrator.

Over the course of the STUNNING project we have gained a lot of knowledge through experimentation. Both on the engineering front as well as on the organization of joint research & development ventures. Armed with these learnings we look forward to the next big projects on our roadmap towards manufacturing automation of high-performance materials to achieve sustainable aviation.

Bye bye fuselage, it was great to have you and we will cheer for your continued progress towards integration & further technology demonstration in Germany.