According to Hexcel, the A350 XWB which is the first Airbus with a structure that is more than 50% composites, is now ready for take off.
In 2008, Airbus awarded Hexcel the contract to be the sole source material supplier for all of the A350 XWB aircraft’s composite primary structural parts.
Hexcel state these include entire fuselage panels, keel beam, the entire wing (covers, spars and centre wing box) and empennage – all of which are made with Hexcel’s HexPly M21E prepreg systems and HexTow IM carbon fibre.
On display at SAMPE, taking place on 6 – 9 May in Long Beach, California, US, are samples from the fuselage “Omega” and “T” stringers made by ATK Aerospace Structures. In the A350 fuselage section there are 700 different frames and stringers per ship set from ATK which are made entirely with their HexPly M21E matrix and HexTow carbon fibre. The company say that the prepreg resin was developed by Hexcel chemists to ensure that the very high performance properties in the fibre are fully optimised in the cured prepreg laminates.
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