Gulfstream 650 tail rudder features carbon fiber/PPS

The Gulfstream 650's rudder is the first external carbon/PPS primary aircraft structure to fly. Suppliers are Ticona, TenCate, Fokker and KVE Composites Group.

A joint press conference at the JEC Composites Show involving Ticona (Florence, Ky.), Fokker Aerostructures BV (Hoogeveen, The Netherlands), Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., KVE Composites Group (The Hague, The Netherlands), TenCate Aerospace Composites (Morgan Hill, Calif.) allowed the companies to discuss their revolutionary thermoplastic composite vertical tail rudder for the Gulfstream 650 aircraft, the winner of the JEC Innovation Award for Aerospace and the first external carbon/PPS primary aircraft structure to fly. Made with Ticona’s Fortron polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resin and prepregged by TenCate, the material is ultrasonically welded using technology developed by KVE, eliminating all metal fasteners. The G650 made its first flight in November 2009. Gulfstream plans to produce 70 to 80 G650 aircraft annually, says the company.