Virtual testing of stiffened composite panels at Airbus. The steady increase of composite parts in civil aircraft over the last three decades has recently been followed by a radical increase of weight percentage composites in the structure. In the most recent long range aircraft under development by both Boeing and Airbus, most major structure components, not only of the wings but also of the fuselage, now consist of composites. This necessitates an increased use of efficient structural simulation capabilities. One important aspect of this is the virtual testing of shear compression panels at Airbus, which will be presented here. Having served well for Glare during the A380 development, it is currently undergoing considerable development to extend its capacity to composites. Summarized under the designation ”Simulation of Panels in AirCraft”, (SIMULPAC), this platform is here introduced and described in terms of functioning and methodology. It has played a major role in the initial A350 developments: in the first designs, during virtual testing of the configuration of new components and for predictions of the first real shear compression panels.
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