Based on an interview with Vincent Britsch, Branch Manager
ALTEN has been a partner on Dassault Aviation’s civil and military aircraft projects since 2011. Dassault Aviation, the name behind the Rafale fighter jet and Falcon business jet, keeps ALTEN involved in design processes, and the partners have created a strong relationship that has led to cooperation on many of Dassault Aviation’s engineering studies. Read on for a closer look at two ALTEN projects for Dassault Aviation’s military and civil divisions.
The Rafale export program
The French-made Rafale fighter jet is available in single-seat, two-seat, and carrier-based versions. ALTEN helped integrate cable routing, interior fitting mounts, and structural parts into the aircraft. ALTEN took a continuous improvement approach to Dassault Aviation’s procedures to optimize both quality and lead times.
Catia V4 to Catia V5 migration
Dassault Aviation had decided to migrate all of the Rafale’s digital documentation from soon-to-be-obsolete Catia V4 to Catia V5, creating an integrated PLM system. The migration also responded to the company’s need to streamline its industrial processes. ALTEN, a process expert, helped make the workflow more efficient and speed up execution, serving as a technical and business consultant to recreate the aircraft models in Catia V5.
Production transfer and manufacturing support
ALTEN supported the integration and industrial scale-up studies for parts and subassemblies for the Rafale’s fully-outfitted structure. The needs expressed by all manufacturing plants are analyzed by the engineering department ALTEN is supporting. From the design of new machined parts following Dassault Aviation’s CNC processes, to modelling the parts in Catia V5, and, ultimately, creating the validation file for manufacturing, ALTEN was able to respond rapidly to meet production requirements.
Falcon 6X, the latest-generation private jet by Dassault Aviation
ALTEN assisted with the modelling studies for the fluid system fasteners in the rear section of the Falcon 6X, the most spacious, modern, and agile twin-engine business jet on the market. The Falcon 6X, which offers a range of 5,500 nm (10,186 km), will make its first flight in early 2021, with delivery slated for 2022.
Just like for the Rafale military jet, the Falcon 6X drew on a broad range of ALTEN’s expertise. The project, which took place in an AMOR* environment, involved design, 3D modelling, mechanical engineering, metals resistance, VPM configuration management, and project management. Specifically, ALTEN engineers designed the fluid circuit mounting and fastening parts using Catia V6. They took part in the design reviews and managed the subassemblies through validation and early manufacturing feedback.
*Aircraft Maintainability and Operability Review: A review completed during the design phase in which a 3D digital model and operator simulation tools (Catia) are used to determine any issues maintaining or accessing on-board equipment.