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A former is an object, such as a template,
gauge Gauge (US: , UK: or ) may refer to: Measurement * Gauge (instrument) A gauge, in science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), ...
or
cutting Cutting is the separation or opening of a physical object, into two or more portions, through the application of an acutely directed force. Implements commonly used for wikt:cut, cutting are the knife and saw, or in medicine and science the scal ...

cutting
die Die, as a verb, refers to death Death is the permanent, irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living Living or The Living may refer to: Common meanings *Life, a condition that distinguishes organisms from ...
, which is used to form something such as a
boat A boat is a watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It m ...

boat
's
hull Hull may refer to: Structures * Chassis, of an armored fighting vehicle * Fuselage, of an aircraft * Hull (botany), the outer covering of seeds * Hull (watercraft), the body or frame of a ship * Submarine hull Mathematics * Affine hull, in affin ...
. Typically, a former gives shape to a structure that may have complex
curvature In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

curvature
. A former may become an integral part of the finished structure, as in an aircraft
fuselage In aeronautics Aeronautics is the science or art involved with the study, design process, design, and manufacturing of air flight–capable machines, and the techniques of operating aircraft and rockets within the atmosphere. The British Ro ...

fuselage
, or it may be removable, being using in the construction process and then discarded or re-used.


Aircraft formers

Here, a former is a structural member of an
aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support from the Atmosphere of Earth, air. It counters the force of gravity by using either Buoyancy, static lift or by using the Lift (force), dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in ...

aircraft
fuselage In aeronautics Aeronautics is the science or art involved with the study, design process, design, and manufacturing of air flight–capable machines, and the techniques of operating aircraft and rockets within the atmosphere. The British Ro ...

fuselage
, of which a typical fuselage has a series from the
nose A nose is a protuberance in vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, l ...

nose
to the
empennage The empennage ( or ), also known as the tail or tail assembly, is a structure at the rear of an aircraft that provides stability during flight, in a way similar to the feathers on an arrow s and nock. An arrow is a fin-stabilized projectile la ...
, typically perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft. The primary purpose of formers is to establish the shape of the fuselage and reduce the column length of stringers to prevent instability. Formers are typically attached to
longeron In engineering, a longeron and stringer is the load-bearing component of a framework. The term is commonly used in connection with aircraft fuselages and automobile chassis. Longerons are used in conjunction with stringers to form structural f ...
s, which support the skin of the aircraft. The "former-and-longeron" technique (also called stations and stringers) was adopted from
boat construction A boat is a watercraft of a large range of types and sizes, but generally smaller than a ship, which is distinguished by its larger size, shape, cargo or passenger capacity, or its ability to carry boats. Small boats are typically found on inla ...
, and was typical of
light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as having wavelengths in the range of 400–700 nan ...

light
aircraft built until the advent of
structural skin Monocoque (), also called structural skin, is a structural system in which loads are supported by an object's external skin, in a manner similar to an egg shell. The word ''monocoque'' is a French term for "single shell". First used for boats, a ...
s, such as
fiberglass Fiberglass (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American Englis ...
and other
composite materials A composite material (also called a composition material or shortened to composite, which is the common name) is a material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or ...
. Many of today's light aircraft, and homebuilt aircraft in particular, are still designed in this way.


Disposable formers

A former may instead be a temporary shape over which a structure is built, the former subsequently being discarded in whole or part, as follows: *Strip-built boat construction uses formers over which thin plank strips are applied and glued.Boat building with strip planking
/ref> in some cases, some of the formers may be incorporated as structural ribs. * In civil engineering, Bridge, bridge building, and architecture, arches may be built upon a wooden former, which is removed once the Keystone (architecture), keystone is securely in place.


References

Boat building Aircraft components {{Aviation-stub