Spirit AeroSystems has been granted a patent for a method of manufacturing a multi-sided formed engine pylon structure for aerospace vehicles. The method involves constructing a base structure using a first construction technique, incorporating additional features using additive manufacturing, folding the structure along fold lines, welding the sides together, and adding a closeout element to define and close the internal space. The method allows for the creation of complex three-dimensional structures with desired tolerances. GlobalData’s report on Spirit AeroSystems gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Spirit AeroSystems, photovoltaic drones was a key innovation area identified from patents. Spirit AeroSystems's grant share as of September 2023 was 56%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Method of manufacturing a multi-sided formed engine pylon structure

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11766828B2) describes a method for manufacturing a multi-sided formed engine pylon structure, which is a component of an aerospace vehicle. The method involves several steps to create a strong and efficient structure.

The first step is to construct a base structure using a specific construction technique. This base structure is then modified by creating one or more fold lines of reduced cross-sectional thickness. These fold lines allow for easier folding of the structure in later steps.

Next, one or more additional features are incorporated into the base structure using an additive manufacturing technique. These additional features, such as stiffening ribs, are designed to physically stiffen the multi-sided formed engine pylon structure, enhancing its strength and durability.

The intermediate structure created with the additional features is then refined to a tolerance in an area that will be located within the internal space defined by the multi-sided formed engine pylon structure. This ensures a precise fit and alignment of the components.

The intermediate structure is then folded along the previously created fold lines to create the multi-sided formed engine pylon structure with two or more sides. During this folding process, at least one of the additional features is located within the internal space of the structure.

To secure the structure, welding is performed along the fold lines between the sides of the multi-sided formed engine pylon structure. This welding ensures a strong and stable connection between the folded sides.

Finally, a closeout element is incorporated into the structure to further define and close the internal space. This element adds an additional layer of protection and stability to the overall structure.

The method described in the patent also allows for the incorporation of separately constructed additional elements, such as a bulkhead, into the intermediate or final structure. This provides flexibility in design and allows for the integration of various components as needed.

Overall, this patented method offers a comprehensive approach to manufacturing a multi-sided formed engine pylon structure for aerospace vehicles. By combining different construction techniques and incorporating additional features, the resulting structure is strong, durable, and efficient.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.