Spirit AeroSystems is installing one of the world’s largest autoclaves at its Wichita, Kan., facility to support increasing production levels in the company’s composite fuselage business and to grow overall composite production capability. The new autoclave has a 30-foot diameter and an internal volume of more than 78,000 cubic feet. The autoclave, which is 120 feet long, is one of nearly 40 at Spirit’s Wichita location. The addition is part of a 94,000 ft² expansion to Spirit’s Composite Fuselage Facility, where the company makes the carbon-fiber nose section for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. An autoclave is a pressure chamber used to cure composite material. Spirit has composite expertise for large, complex aerostructures as well as jet engine nacelles. Spirit AeroSystems is one of the largest manufacturers of aerostructures in the world with both design and build capabilities for a variety of applications.
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