GKN Aerospace has developed a new repair process allowing hot-bonding of composite structure inside an autoclave. Autoclaves are used to manufacture complex composite parts by using heat and pressure to cure the components in a controlled environment. Repairing composite parts in normal atmospheric conditions requires costly specialized materials.
Louis Martin wants his company, Technical Composites Corp., to “seek its own level in the industry,” as a distinct and growing brand, though still connected in service philosophy and ownership to Lou Martin & Associates, his composite business. Martin is discussing the capabilities of both brands from his booth (No. 4281), as well as marking his 30th year in service.
Composites manufacturer Fiber Art (Booth No. 896) has been acquired from the estate of founder Patsy Pyka in a management buyout. The corporation’s new majority owners are president and CEO Bruce Beatty, executive vice president and COO Michael Goldman and CFO Debbie Ott.
French company Simav is developing a new thermal process, thermolysis, to recycle the carbon fiber contained in composite materials and claims that its process yields a higher-quality recycled fiber than the current one.
“Airbus is testing a prototype of our recycling machine in Toulouse and we plan to install a production-standard machine there late this year or early in 2009,” Simav CEO Ghassan Khouri told AIN.
GKN Aerospace announced here at Farnborough that it is expanding its metallic and composite manufacturing techniques. Acquisitions have boosted its metallic capabilities, while the company’s Composites Research Center is nearing completion of three years’ work on the integrated wing, advanced technology verification program.
GKN Aerospace Services is promoting its growing capabilities in composites, machining and fabrication. In January, the UK-based group added Boeing’s former fabrication facility in St. Louis with a view to landing more work from U.S. airframers, including business aircraft builders.
The NTSB is examing the structural integrity of the all-composite tail of the Airbus A300-600 that crashed November 12 after liftoff from New York JFK Airport. During an encounter with wake turbulence, the tail of the twin-engine airliner tore away virtually intact. Today’s business jets use a wide variety of composite parts, including Raytheon Aircraft, whose Premier I has an all-composite fuselage.
Gulfstream Aerospace’s choice of Stork Aerospace to be a major partner for its new G650 large-cabin business jet is
not surprising, given the long-standing alliance between the U.S. and Dutch firms. Stork is developing and manufacturing composite tail and bonded fuselage panels for the G650.
Last year Swedish composites technology specialist Lamera introduced Hybrix, a stainless-steel “fiber-filled sandwich” that looks and behaves like a regular stainless-steel solid sheet that can be processed and formed with the same tools but weighs half as much. This year, in partnership with Sandvik Decorex, it has re-introduced Hybrix in permanent colors and surface textures under the DecoBrix brand.
Cessna, Bombardier and Raytheon have taken fundamentally different approaches to their new business jet designs. Here at the show, the talk reflects just how stark those distinctions are.