Development of aerospace composites gets follow-up
On 19 June at the Paris Air Show in France Henk Kamp, Minister of Economic Affairs, signed a letter of intent regarding the extension of the Thermoplastic Affordable Primary Aircraft Structure Consortium. An innovative fuselage panel for Airbus, which is made of thermoplastic composite from TenCate Advanced Composites, was also unveiled in Paris.
Within the Thermoplastic Affordable Primary Aircraft Structure Consortium (TAPAS) eight Dutch companies and institutions involved in the aviation industry work together with Airbus on groundbreaking technological aircraft innovations. This initiative is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. TAPAS 1 recently came to a close with the presentation of an innovative double-curved fuselage panel for Airbus. It is made of thermoplastic composite from TenCate Advanced Composites and was produced by Airbus, Fokker Aerostructures and other TAPAS partners. It is the first time that such a large-scale fuselage panel has been manufactured in thermoplastic composite. This demonstrator shows how the entire fuselage material of passenger aircraft may look in the future.
TAPAS 1 kicked off in 2009. The aim was to increase the development of thermoplastic composites for Airbus aircraft designs and bring them to a higher level of technology readiness. The demonstrator from TAPAS 1 is a heavily burdened torsion box, and here a redesign of the horizontal tail of the Gulfstream 650 business jet was the option chosen.
Just like the fuselage panel, the torsion box represents a significant part of the primary construction of an aircraft. It is intended that TAPAS 2 will continue with the development of thermoplastic composites for wing and tail applications, suspension frames for motors and fuselage components.
‘It’s splendid to hear that the Dutch aviation industry has such a good name in this market,’ said Dutch Minister Kamp (picture: Philip Provily) in Paris during the signing of the letter of intent. ‘Airbus and Boeing speak highly of the collaboration with these Dutch companies.’