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Machine Design

Blind bolt trims aircraft weight

Titanium Maxibolts Plus, a blind bolt from Textron Fastening Systems Troy, Mich.

Titanium Maxibolts Plus, a blind bolt from Textron Fastening Systems, Troy, Mich. (, will let Airbus engineers attach flightcritical assemblies — including the vertical tail, wings, and wing slats — using a strong, lightweight fastener that saves over 18 lb on the vertical tail alone. The aerospace bolts come in three different sizes, all of which can be installed with a robot or a standard Textron hand tool. The bolt's relatively large diameter distribute the joint's load over a wider area on the blind side. This gives a firmer grip and reduces the number of fasteners. The bolts can be used on metal and composites, another reason Airbus will be using them on the A380.

The bolts install in 2 sec, and a common groove on the pulling serration lets each bolt be interchanged using a common pulling head. Bolts lock positively, break flush to the material with no deburring, and can handle a 7° backside slope.

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