Airbus awards Teledyne CML Composites A350 Life of Program contract
Teledyne CML Composites (Bromborough, UK) has announced the award of a contract with Airbus (Toulouse, France) for the “Life Of Program” supply of composite wing components and assemblies on the new A350 commercial airliner. The package includes a range of composite parts for the A350-900 and the A350-1000 aircraft wings that are manufactured at Airbus’s Broughton, UK facility.
The fuselage and wing structures on the A350 series are made primarily of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). The use of advanced composite materials reduces the overall weight of the aircraft offering operators lower fuel burn, easier maintenance and increased resistance to corrosion.
With a mounting order backlog, Airbus is working to increase production and looking to their supply chain to support the increased demand.
Teledyne CML Composites general manager, John Toner says, “Our business is geared to meet the high volume requirements of a number of customers worldwide for whom we maintain a 100% on-time delivery record. Prior to the award of this work, we started engineering large numbers of components and assemblies and purchasing the necessary capital equipment months in advance to ensure a seamless in-load. We invested heavily in a new autoclave to allow us the capacity to meet the current build rates and planned ramp up”.
Once Airbus begins their production of these additional aircraft, Teledyne CML Composites will supply components for the life of the contract.
Yes, advanced forms are in development, but has the technology progressed enough to make the business case?
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.
The structural properties of composite materials are derived primarily from the fiber reinforcement. Fiber types, their manufacture, their uses and the end-market applications in which they find most use are described.