Quickstep completes qualification testing of C-130J composite wing flaps

With testing complete, Quickstep has begun manufacture of the carbon fiber composite wing flaps at its Bankstown Airport (Australia) facility. Quickstep also says it has sold its first Quickstep Process system.

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Quickstep (Sydney, Australia) announced on July 23 that it has completed all qualification tasks required by Lockheed Martin’s materials and process technical engineering testing program. This confirms Quickstep’s readiness to manufacture composite parts for the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules aircraft.

The qualification test results include the successful fabrication of destructive test articles using Lockheed Martin’s approved production processes. Quickstep has already started to manufacture the wing flaps at its Bankstown Airport facility, and deliveries are expected to begin during the 2013-14 financial year as planned in the contract. The company’s overall agreement with Lockheed Martin is expected to generate revenues of $75 million (USD) to $100 million (USD) for Quickstep over five years.

Quickstep managing director, Philippe Odouard says: “The successful completion of qualification tests is a milestone which confirms that Quickstep is able to meet the exact manufacturing needs of our C-130J contract. This is an important step as we prepare to manufacture anddeliver composite carbon-fibre wing flaps for Lockheed Martin.”

The C-130 aircraft is the longest continuously operating military aircraft production in history and nations that are operating or have ordered the C-130J include Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Republic of Korea, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In other Quickstep news, the company announced on July 25 the first commercial sale of its patented Quickstep Process system. Quickstep has secured a €4.2 million (AUD6.0 million) contract to provide a leading aircraft composites manufacturer, ORPE Technologiya, with its Quickstep Process to manufacture large carbon fiber composite components.

The Quickstep Process involves surrounding raw carbon fiber with heated liquids that transfer heat 25 times faster than traditional autoclave methods, enabling composite components to be cured more efficiently and at a fraction of the cost. The Quickstep Process will be used to produce large carbon fiber shielding for satellites during launches, opening up the aerospace navigation, telecommunications and weather satellite markets for Quickstep’s technology.

The contract will be delivered over 18 months and will involve all parts of Quickstep’s global organisation.