Composites resin, fiber and core material supplier Hexcel (Stamford, Conn., USA) has congratulated Airbus on the first flight of the A400M military transport plane on Dec. 11 in Seville, Spain, and notes that Hexcel’s composite materials are used extensively for the A400M.
The A400M has the first carbon fiber composite wing for a transporter aircraft, with wing skins and stringers manufactured using HexPly M21 carbon fiber/epoxy prepregs from Hexcel. Other A400M structures made with Hexcel prepregs are parts of the empennage and a number of secondary structures, including fairings. Hexcel’s HexWeb engineered core honeycomb components are also used in several of the sandwich structures.
The photo shows the A400M rudder spar that Airbus provided as a display part for the opening of Hexcel’s prepreg plant in Nantes, France last year. Hexcel materials are also used for A400M engine parts, including the rotor blades.