ASCO wins contract for hybrid complex frames for A350 XWB-1000

Belgium-based ASCO will manufacture titanium and carbon fiber composite complex frames for the center wing box structure on the A350 XWB-1000 aircraft.

ASCO (Zaventem, Belgium), a designer and manufacturer of high lift device mechanisms, complex mechanical assemblies and major functional components for the aerospace industry, has signed with Airbus (Toulouse, France) a long-term contract for the production of titanium and composite complex frames to equip the center wing box structure of the A350 XWB-1000 aircraft that is scheduled to enter into service in mid-2017.

The frames are made out of titanium and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). ASCO says the combination of these two materials will allow significant improvement in weight and overall mechanical performance.

ASCO also says this is the first time that this type of hybrid enhanced technology is used in such application. 

“Close communication and responsiveness to our client has been critical to achieve the industrialization and manufacturing of the parts,” says Pierre Willemens, project manager at ASCO.

ASCO has been delivering large and complex machined parts to Airbus for more than 30 years, and for the past 10 years, ASCO has been developing new hybrid as well as entirely composite solutions for aerostructure applications. Now, with these hybrid parts, ASCO goes a step further in the integration of composites in aerostructures. 

“Our objective is really to accompany our customers with innovative technologies and solutions. 
What is more, we are very proud to participate in the newest version of the successful A350 XWB-1000 aircraft,” said Laurent Canoen, chief commercial officer of the ASCO group.

The complex hybrid frames will be produced in Zaventem, Belgium. ASCO has manufacturing plants in Belgium, the US, Canada and Germany.