Boeing Deliver the First 747-8

25 October 2011

Boeing has delivered the first 747-8 to Cargolux in Belgium, which contains Hexcel Composite materials and technologies. 

According to Hexcel, this new freighter is part of the 747-8 family that is cleaner, quieter and more fuel efficient than any previous 747. 

Hexcel explain that the 747-8 has the industry’s newest engine design, the GEnx-2B, with fan blades built from their HexTow IM7 carbon fibre and HexPly prepreg.  They say carbon fibre prepregs provide optimum strength to weight combined with high toughness, stiffness and endurance.  HexWeb lightweight honeycomb and engineered core components are used in the nacelle and thrust reverser - as well as the aircraft secondary structures and interiors.  In addition Hexcel’s engineered products facility in Kent, Washington is producing structural parts and assemblies for the program.

The GEnx-2B nacelles benefit from Hexcel’s broadband noise reducing Acousti-Cap technologythat enables engine designers to achieve superior acoustical performance without a structural weight penalty. Acousti-Cap consists of a permeable cap material embedded into a non-metallic honeycomb to create an acoustic septum. Customers specify the flow resistance characteristics, overall core thickness, number of caps in a cell and insertion depth. The result is a product tuned to their acoustic requirements.

Hexcel say this widespread use of Hexcel’s composite materials in the 747-8 contributes to the greater fuel efficiency and noise reduction that allow airlines to lower fuel costs and fly into more airports at more times of the day. The 747-8 Intercontinental provides double-digit improvements in fuel efficiency compared with the 747-400. They say the aeroplane is quieter, with a 30-percent smaller noise footprint than the 747-400.

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