Paris Air Show

Qinetiq sunscreens aircraft

 - December 13, 2006, 12:40 PM

Qinetiq is here at the Paris Air Show with a new sunscreen for heat-sensitive aircraft. The UK-based research company has developed a new range of solar heat reflective coatings. The so-called low solar load (LSL) technology is aimed at reducing air-conditioning, insulation and heat-resistant materials needs. According to Qinetiq, tests have shown a 35-percent reduction in the heat absorbed by an aircraft’s surface, compared with conventional paints. White surfaces reflect the sun’s visible energy, the company explained in a release, but LSL paint also reflects energy in the infrared spectrum.

On this year’s show star, the Airbus A380, Qinetiq was responsible for enhancing the creep-age process, used during wing manufacturing. “By combining the required heat treatment, which strengthens the wing, and the forming of the wing, a process is eliminated,” Qinetiq emphasized. In addition, the previous technique relied on trial and error and took too long.

Separately, under a Harrier upgrade program contract with the UK Ministry of Defence, Qinetiq has recently incorporated a successor identification friend or foe (SIFF) on the Harrier GR Mk9/9A.