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Design Evolution

After the success of the very first GFA we looked forward to how we could improve the design and manufacturing. 


Semi-monocoque fuselage 

A semi-monocoque fuselage design results in greater stiffness compared to the original truss structure and uses far less glue.

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Modular design

The ability to decouple sections of the airframe helps with transportation and represents a step up in the engineering potential of the material.


Standardised components

The original design had a very large number of unique pieces that had to be cut by hand. Increasing the automation of cutting improves the tolerances the aircraft can be built to.

Structural Testing

Before designing a whole fuselage, we needed to understand how the semi-monocoque structures would behave and so a great deal of structural testing was carried out. 

Several test rigs of different shapes and sizes were constructed and loaded to failure. Recording the results gave us the data we needed to define the geometry of the new fuselage based on the expected flight loads.

The Seagull Prototype

To test the strength and manufacturability of the new semi-monocoque concept, an un-powered glider prototype was constructed over two days by a pair of experienced builders. This new design proved to be stiffer, lighter and much easier to manufacture compared to the original.

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