KEVLAR contributes to record-setting flight

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 August 2004




(2004), "KEVLAR contributes to record-setting flight", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 76 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

KEVLAR contributes to record-setting flight

KEVLAR contributes to record-setting flight

Keywords: DuPont, Aircraft, Materials

DuPont KEVLAR honeycomb core flooring played a role in the overall weight management that made possible the recent milestone Singapore Airlines non-stop flight from Singapore to Los Angeles.

Singapore Airlines set a new commercial long-distance flight record when it initiated daily nonstop service between Singapore and Los Angeles. In order to meet the challenge, Airbus developed the existing four-engine- powered model A340 into an ultra-long-haul aircraft, the A340-500. The modifications required for this programme included a new aramid paper of KEVLAR for the honeycomb core of the floor panels and partitions in the passenger cabin and cargo hold.

The savings in weight reportedly contribute towards “stretching” the distance more than 1,000 km beyond the previous non-stop record to 14,093 km (7,609 miles) flown in 14 h, 42 min without refuelling.

Meets aviation needs of tomorrow

Because of its high compressive, shear and fatigue properties, and lightweight, KEVLAR honeycomb constructions are believed ideal for weight-critical programmes, such as the A340-500 and A340-600, the longest and largest airliners built by Airbus to date.

This 21st century technology will also play an important role in the technology platform of the double-deck A380, which is scheduled to make its first flight in 2005 and begin commercial service in 2006. Designed to carry 30-50 percent more passengers than existing aircrafts, the A380 will rely on the latest generation of composites to lighten its load – including 600 m2 of panels based on KEVLAR honeycomb core.

Latest in materials evolution

DuPont-engineered lightweight honeycomb composites, initially made with NOMEX, have been contributing to advanced aircraft design in a host of interior and exterior applications for many years.

“Now DuPont has gone one step further in developing a new paper for honeycomb composites, based on KEVLAR fibre technology, to meet ever-Increasing demands of commercial and military aircraft programmes for higher performance, extended range, increased capacity, greater comfort and lower operating costs,” says Dr René Pinzelli, technical consultant, DuPont Advanced Fibres Systems.

For further details, contact: DuPont Advanced Fibre Systems. Tel: +41 22 717 58 20; Fax: +41 22 717 60 21.

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