China’s Comac C919 completes maiden flight

The C919 aircraft is manufactured with Solvay composite materials.

Related Topics:

Related Suppliers

The Comac C919, the first Chinese-built passenger jetliner, completed its first flight on May 5 in Shanghai. The C919 seeks to compete with the Airbus A320 series and the Boeing 737. Comac’s single aisle C919 commercial airliner was developed to meet growing air transportation demand in the region but is also intended for export sales. In 2012, Solvay Composite Materials (Tempe, Ariz.), at the time Cytec, was awarded a long-term agreement to supply high-performance, structural composite and adhesive materials for the C919 commercial aircraft via Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Company who is responsible for the C919 aircraft’s manufacture.

In total, nine prepreg specifications and seven adhesive specifications were qualified with Solvay products for the C919 program and were used across the aircraft’s structure. Solvay’s CYCOM 977-2 and CYCOM X850 prepregs, toughened epoxy materials ideal for primary and secondary structure applications were utilized on the horizontal stabilizer, rear pressure bulkhead, aileron and flaps. CYCOM 970 and CYCOM 7701, two epoxy prepregs producing void-free honeycomb sandwich and monolithic structures were respectively used on the rudder, elevator, winglets, spoiler, wing-to-body fairings and on the radome. Various adhesives for metal and composite bonding were also selected.

Carmelo Lo Faro, president of Solvay Composite Materials, stated: “We are proud to support Comac in their efforts to advance the Chinese aerospace industry, enabling them to position themselves for growth and to use composites successfully on a range of applications on the C919. We look forward to continuing with our collaborative work with Comac for their future programs.”

Solvay Research & Innovation and Technical Services teams worked closely with the company’s authorized distributor in China, Argosy International Inc., who provided sales and logistics support for material  procurement for this program.

The New York Times reports that while to date, Comac has received 570 orders for the C919, a majority have come from Chinese companies and “a couple of small overseas air carriers with links to China.”

Editor Pick

Sustainable, inline recycling of carbon fiber

Shocker Composites and R&M International are developing a supply chain for recycled CF with zero knockdown vs. virgin fiber, lower cost and, eventually, lengths delivering structural properties close to continuous fiber.