Versatile aluminium framework system

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 April 2000




(2000), "Versatile aluminium framework system", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 72 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Versatile aluminium framework system

Versatile aluminium framework system

Keywords: Alusett, Pennant, Training

Pennant International is developing the Generic Flying Controls Trainer (Genfly) for the Ministry of Defence, based on a framework of aluminium extrusions supplied by Alusett Limited of Winchester (Plate 4). The application illustrates the strength and versatility of Alusett's Kanya range for demanding framework design and build applications.

Cheltenham-based Pennant International was established 40 years ago to design and manufacture audio-visual products. Its location at a centre of aerospace activity has led to increased involvement in supplying hardware and software for aerospace simulation systems.

Plate 4 Pennant International is developing the Generic Flying Controls Trainer (Genfly) for the Ministry of Defence, based on a framework of aluminium extrusions supplied by Alusett Limited

The Genfly project will provide the MoD with a training aid for ground-based technicians, teaching them the fundamentals of diagnosing faults in hydraulic systems. The simulator will represent all the hydraulic systems of a "generic" aircraft including landing gear, flying controls, and auxiliary systems in support of the hydraulic systems.

Genfly will provide training more cost-effectively than tying up an aircraft, and improves on a real-life installation by representing the hydraulic system in a more accessible manner to the novice than the "spaghetti junction" of the real thing. Students will be able to locate simulated faults and replace replica hydraulic components installed at appropriate locations in Genfly.

To enable students to visualise the layout of the hydraulic systems, the simulator is constructed on an open framework, although parts of it will eventually be clad for realism. The simulator can be jacked to enable undercarriage retraction tests to be undertaken, backed up by four legs for safety. Pennant's Genfly Technical Project Leader Colin Weeks comments:

With the Kanya system, the framework is bolted together rather than welded.This allows us to make adjustments more easily during development, and will provide us with the flexibility to carry the concept forward into future versions or projects.

Strength and rigidity to support up to eight people without flexing or toppling were requirements of the design brief which Alusett developed using a dedicated CAD system. This system enabled Alusett to generate engineering drawings and calculate stress and turning moments to confirm the load-bearing qualities of the design.

Alusett delivered the first framework as subassemblies which have been bolted together at Pennant International. Colin Weeks says:

The use of a lightweight, demountable aluminium framework also gives us transportability, both to bring the sub-assemblies to Cheltenham, and to deliver the simulators to the MoD.

The Kanya system has provided us with a high quality finish, while its accuracy has allowed us to assemble the simulator quickly and easily, with the strength and solidity we need.

Following design verification the first Genfly will be populated with the simulated hydraulics, and undercarriage and flight control system equipment. It will be delivered to No. 1 School of Technical Training at RAF Cosford, where it will be integrated into the airframe mechanics and technicians training courses. Two further simulators will complete the contract.

The versatile Kanya PVS range offers a wide variety of aluminium extrusions and innovative easy-fix couplings, and is proven in numerous industrial applications including heavy-duty frameworks, machine guards, display cabinets and workbenches.

The system can be supplied with clamping extrusions for fixing virtually any type of enclosure panel, and is fully compatible with the Kanya RVS Tube Clamp System, to provide unlimited possibilities for tailored solutions.

Details available from Alusett Limited. Tel:’+44 (0) 1962 842424; Fax: +44 (0) 1962 842425; E-mail:; WWW:

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