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Mr Hervé Morin, the French Defence Minister, visited the Hexcel Composites site at Dagneux last week.
The minister was able to observe the manufacture of composite materials used for aeroplanes and helicopters such as the NH90, the Tiger and the A380, as well as for future programmes such as the A350 and the A400M. These materials, which make structures lighter, stiffer and stronger , now provide the civil and military aviation industry with more alternatives and greater scope for new programmes and form the core of the technological challenges at stake.
After a presentation of the company and a visit to the production workshops, the minister delivered a speech on the site in front of about one hundred employees and local elected representatives who had gathered to mark the occasion. A number of demonstration parts in composites were exhibited: these included, among other items, helicopter blades, helmets, an A340 connecting rod, a helicopter Starflex, a “radome sleeve” and an aeroplane engine nacelle acoustic panel.
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