Today’s global aerospace industry demands a proven partner. From the first flight at Kitty Hawk to the many “firsts” that followed and those yet to come, Alcoa remains the trusted, “first call” partner.
Alcoa combines inspired technological leadership and a commitment to nonstop innovation with the staying power that comes from stability, scale and footprint. Wrapped with a uniquely broad range of multi-material product forms and solutions that cover advanced applications, Alcoa is in the skies -- nose to tail, wingtip to wingtip, inside and out.
Many aerospace companies are trying to make a big noise in titanium these days, but workers at Alcoa’s parts fabrication plant at Samara, in southeastern Russia, had best tighten up their ear protectors. From 2016, their 75,000-ton forging press – until recently the world’s biggest – will be going to work on material supplied by Russia’s VSMPO-AVISMA, the world′s largest manufacturer of titanium ingots and forged products.
But while the Samara plant – which dates back to 1960 – and this “beautiful piece of equipment” have been focussed on aluminium, Roegner notes that a forge is “material agnostic”.
In VSMPO, Alcoa has a very mature partner, whose operations span from the mines to finished products. It has been strategic partner to Boeing since 1997, and through a Russian joint venture that will draw some $27 million in Boeing investment over 30 years supplies the 787 and other Boeing programmes with rough-machined titanium parts for finishing in the USA.
At the MAKS airshow in Moscow this summer, VSMPO and Airbus renewed a 20-year relationship, signing what the companies called an “end-to-end strategic collaboration” covering development, processing and recycling of titanium material for all Airbus programmes. VSMPO is also a key organiser of Russia’s so-called “Titanium Valley” project, a government-industry initiative to build a cluster of expertise in the Urals region.
Alcoa is of course best-known for aluminium. Roegner is probably not exaggerating when he says no Western aircraft programme has ever flown without some Alcoa content; even the Wright Flyer’s engine block and crankcase were cast from Alcoa aluminium.
Today, fasteners, investment castings and structural materials such as sheet, plate, forgings or extrusions each account for about a third of Alcoa’s $3.8 billion annual aerospace business. But what shouldn’t be overlooked is that the company has long been a multi-material supplier, working in titanium, nickel, steel and magnesium. Alcoa has produced structural castings in titanium since 1917, and titanium figures significantly in fasteners and castings like hot-section engine blades.
The General Electric GEnx engine on the Boeing 787 is part of GE's "ecomagination" product portfolio - GE's business strategy to develop new, cost-effective technologies that enhance customers' environmental and operating performance. As part of its sustainability strategy, Alcoa develops solutions to help customers achieve their goals. The GEnx engine contains Alcoa solutions like this highly engineered fuel metering casting (left) and these engine airfoil blade castings (right) that help this engine be the quietest commercial engine ever produced.
Aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus, and their partners like GE are continuously seeking to refresh existing or develop next-generation aircraft and components. They want planes that are less expensive to fly, have longer inspection intervals and useful lifetimes, and offer enhanced comfort for the flying public. This creates significant opportunities for Alcoa aluminum and a wide variety of our other aerospace products. To meet this growing need, we are developing new solutions in partnership with our customers.
The Airbus A380 is the largest and most advanced aircraft of its kind. It stands to reason that the parts that make up the A380 are also large and advanced. This
forging from Alcoa Forgings and Extrusions is the smaller of the three large
forgings we supply to the A380. This
piece helps hold the landing gear onto the plane and is made with Alcoa’s
proprietary 7085 alloy. The “baby” of
the major forgings, this piece weighs 3,000 pounds. Fact: The A380 features more new Alcoa metallics and products than any other aircraft in Alcoa's 100-plus years of aerospace history. Our products are literally used from nose to tail, from the forward landing gear support structure to forgings for the horizontal and vertical stabilizers.
The A400M is one of the stars of the 50th edition of the Paris Air Show. The
Airbus A400M is an impressive, new military transport
aircraft that features Alcoa aluminum on the fuselage. The A400M has been rigorously designed to meet the equipment transport needs of modern armed forces. The A400M can perform missions which previously required two - or more - different types of aircraft. The transport is light so it can carry more
cargo, achieve a longer range, and maneuver into difficult terrain during potential conflicts.
From the sands of Kitty Hawk to the Sea of Tranquility and beyond, Alcoa solutions have helped shape every major advance in aviation. Our metal went into the crankcase of the Wright Brothers' Flyer and into the propeller that pulled Lindbergh across the Atlantic. Our innovations in materials, engineering and design have helped usher in commercial aviation, break the sound barrier and make space travel a routine commute.
To learn more about Alcoa's history at the Paris Air Show, check out this interview with Alcoa's Colin Davies, Sales Director - Alcoa Aerospace Europe. Colin has been coming to the Paris Air Show since the 1980's and shares his insights as to what has changed (and not changed) over the years.
Alcoa’s commitment to innovation is backed by the full resources of the company’s technical teams and the Alcoa Technical Center, which is the world’s largest light metals research facility.
Alcoa Aerospace is comprised of 4 businesses with operations across the world totaling approximately $3.8 Billion in value-added revenue and #1 share positions in their markets: Alcoa Global Rolled Products and Alcoa Forgings and Extrusions serving the structures market; and Alcoa Fastening Systems and Alcoa Power and Propulsion. Alcoa’s aerospace solutions run from nose to tail and from wing-tip to wing-tip. Alcoa has been at the forefront of every major milestone in aerospace history based on its commitment to continually innovate and a “beyond materials” philosophy – where materials, structures, and designs work in concert to provide optimal solutions for customers.
Alcoa’s new aluminum lithium alloys provide the best strength-to-weight performance in Alcoa’s aerospace alloy portfolio combined with better stiffness, damage tolerance, and corrosion resistance. The alloys are used in extrusions, forgings, sheet and plate applications across aircraft structures, including airplane wings and fuselage components. The expansions follow discussions with airframers subsequent to the launch of the alloys.
“We introduced our third-generation aluminum lithium alloys at the last Paris Air Show and demonstrated their potential to increase fuel efficiency, reduce inspection intervals, improve passenger comfort and lower capital costs for aerospace manufacturers,” said Mark Vrablec, President of Alcoa Aerospace, Transportation and Industrial Rolled Products. “The response was phenomenal. In fact, the response indicated demand that exceeded our production capacity at the time, so we launched initiatives to expand our aluminum lithium operations at three locations around the world (latest announcemenet). The initiative also provided us with the opportunity to increase our aerospace recycling capability for customers to benchmark status in the industry,” Vrablec added.
Day 3 at the 2013 Paris Air Show -- France's gigantic biennial aviation fest. It's more or less like any other trade show, but instead of the latest aluminum ultrabooks and tablets (like we see at Consumer Electronics Show), we're showcasing world-leading aircraft components ranging from the world's most advanced aluminum lithium solutions, world's largest aerospace forgings, world's strongest aerospace fasteners, to world-leading technology for advanced castings that withstand extreme temperatures of aero engines. Here are a few pictures of Alcoa innovations.
For Alcoa, the A380 represents more than a decade of new ideas in metallurgy, structural design, logistics and collaboration with Airbus. With every A380 that takes off, literally more than a million pieces of Alcoa technology take flight, from fasteners to fuselage skins and on to an endless list of essential solutions. And many of these are superlatives equal to the breakthrough that is the A380: the biggest wing spars ever made, the largest, most fatigue resistant upper and lower wing skins, the largest wing spar ever forged, and new titanium lockbolts that marry metal to composite in the A380's huge wing box, and the world's largest aerospace forgings for landing gear.
This project has engaged the talents of a generation of minds at Alcoa. As the number of flights grows; and as the number of aircraft grows; it will engage the production, support and innovation capacities of a generation more. Alcoa. Advancing each generation.
As the leading supplier of Aluminum solutions to the world’s aerospace industry, Alcoa has continuously enhanced and broadened its product portfolio in meeting customers’ needs and helping them explore new frontiers since the dawn of aviation.
Proven over more than 100 shipsets, Alcoa’s monolithic Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) bulkhead solution saves weight, reduces total material volume and simpliﬁes assembly – netting up to a 20% cost savings over a built-up structure.
A big part of Alcoa's aerospace portfolio comes from castings. Alcoa is a leading manufacturer of aero engine airfoils, and also makes structural castings out of titanium, aluminum and nickel-based alloys for aerospace engines, components for jet aircraft, gas turbines and other advanced-technology industries.
The Trent XWB engine on the Airbus A350 features Alcoa's airfoil blades and vanes, helping make it the world's most efficient aero engine flying today.
The GEnx engine on the Boeing 787 features Alcoa's one-piece front turbofan frame casting, helpign make it the quietest, most passenger-friendly commercial engine ever produced.
Alcoa has been a leader in recycling of aluminum since it helped create the modern-day aluminum industry in 1888. 125 years later, Alcoa continues its leadership in the recycling of aluminum by partnering with longtime customer Boeing on a new program that will significantly increase recycling of aluminum aerospace alloys used during the production of Boeing airplanes.
Approximately 8 million pounds of aluminum is expected to be recycled within the program each year.
The recycled products will be taken from aluminum alloy scrap material used in the production of wing and fuselage components of Boeing airplanes. The forms will include aluminum extrusions, sheet and plate products.
"This program will maximize the value of aluminum scrap materials throughout the supply chain while also reducing waste," said Leslie Shuman, director of supply chain for Alcoa's aerospace, transportation and industrial rolled products, in a statement. "It also allows us to work closely with Boeing to ensure the quality and integrity of the materials we bring into our system for recycling."
Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa Chairman and CEO meets with
customers at the Paris Air Show. Throughout the show, Mr. Kleinfeld met with
nearly a dozen top customers. Alcoa's aerospace revenues are approximately $3.8
billion and growing as OEM's increase build rates and we introduce new products
Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld inspecting an exact replica of the crankcase from the Wright Brothers plane that launched the era of human flight and began the modern aviation industry…. and made events such as the Paris Air Show possible. Dan Goodman, Director of Alcoa Aerospace Marketing explains the artifact which is on display as part of Alcoa’s presence at the Paris Air show.
The global leadership of the Alcoa Fastening Systems Aerospace Products team comes from a distinct heritage of experience and familiar brand names that defined the early days of flight and are still on the leading edge.
We manufacture millions of parts per day for thousands of customers worldwide; and for every aerospace application, material, and design challenge imaginable. Our extensive product offering includes a variety of precision self-locking nuts, high-pressure hydraulic fittings, threaded inserts and studs, panel fasteners, latching systems, bolts, and the latest installation systems to save you time and money.
We manufacture in many materials, including aluminum, corrosion-resistant steels, titanium, Inconel, Waspaloy, A 286 and super alloys.
This is an investment casting – a one-piece front turbofan frame casting -- made by Alcoa Power and Propulsion for the GEnX engine that flies on the new Boeing 787 airplane which flew as part of a demonstration of planes at the Paris Air Show today.
Alcoa is a leading worldwide producer of precision investment castings for military, aerospace and commercial applications.
We specialize in producing, large, complex parts that provide exceptional strength and meet tight tolerances. Often, these parts are thin wall structures for airframe and air- craft engine applications. Through the use of our monolithic parts, customers streamline their manufacturing processes and save time and money by eliminating the extensive machining and assembly required by multi-piece parts.
Lots and lots of activity at the Alcoa stand at the Paris Air Show. All conferences rooms and meeting spaces that are part of Alcoa’s presence at the Show are booked every hour each day of the show, full of meetings with customers and aerospace partners.
Eric Roegner, Chief Operating Officer, Alcoa Investment Castings, Forgings, and Extrusions and President, Alcoa Defense (far-left) and Dan Murphy VP, Business Development for Alcoa Defense (far-right) meet with Joe Zeis and Kara Valz (middle) from Jobs for Ohio in front of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) bulkhead forging made on the Cleveland, Ohio forging press.
From the first flight at Kitty Hawk (pictured: the crankcase of the Wright Flyer was made from Alcoa aluminum) to man's first steps on the moon to all 135 Space Shuttle missions, Alcoa innovations have enabled the greatest moments in flight.
During the 2013 Paris Air Show's opening day, all eyes were on the no. 1 British Airways A380 as this double-deck jetliner performed a high-profile flight demonstration. That's a lot of (Alcoa) aluminum!
The first plane to officially fly at the 2013 Paris Air Show was the Airbus A380. A massive, light, thing of beauty. A forging from the A380 is on display at the Alcoa booth – the forging alone weighs 3,000 pounds and is made with Alcoa’s proprietary 7085 alloy. The giant forging on display is the smallest of the forgings Alcoa supplies for this aircraft.
Front view of the engine of the 787 Dreamliner – Alcoa turbine blades are known throughout the industry. Components for aircraft jet engines, Alcoa’s blades and vanes operate in the most demanding section of the turbine, where temperatures sometimes exceed the melting point of the casting and the rotational rate exceeds the speed of sound.
Today’s global aerospace industry demands a proven partner. Alcoa has been part of the greatest moments in flight from the first flight at Kitty Hawk to man's first steps on the moon to the many “firsts” that followed and those yet to come. Alcoa remains the trusted, “first call” partner.
In this video, Alcoa's Dan Goodman, Director of Aerospace Marketing, takes you on a virtual tour of Alcoa's booth at the 50th Paris Air Show and articulates Alcoa's vision and aerospace value proposition.
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner. It is the world's largest passenger airliner; many airports have upgraded their facilities to accommodate it because of its size. The Airbus A380 has the longest wingspan in the commercial aerospace industry. And, features an all-aluminum fuselage and wings. That’s a lot of (Alcoa) aluminum.
Taking center stage during one of the world's largest aerospace events is the
Boeing 787 Dreamliner. From nose to tail and wingtip to wingtip, this plane
features Alcoa content throughout, including Alcoa’s newest generation of
Tens of thousands of trade visitors from around the world are expected to attend the Air Show, which runs from June 17-23.
Talk about Alcoa. Advancing Each Generation... This is a replica (top picture) of the Alcoa aluminum crankcase that powered the Wright Flyer, widely held as the first manned flight. Today, Alcoa solutions are found nose to tail and wing tip to wing tip (bottom picture) on practically everything that flies.
Mark Vrablec, President, Global Aerospace, Ground Transportation, and Industrial and Specialty Products at Alcoa, and Markus Heinimann, Technology Manager - Aerospace at Alcoa, inspect an aluminum lithium fuselage panel on display at Paris Air Show. It is easily as reflective as a mirror. Learn more about advanced aluminum solutions developed by Alcoa.
The Paris Air Show, which opens for business on Monday, brings hundreds of aircraft to the skies around the French capital. As the leading supplier of aluminum solutions to the world’s aerospace industry, Alcoa will be there showcasing its product portfolio. Almost all aluminum aerospace alloys currently in use were originally developed by Alcoa, and today’s major new aircraft programs incorporate Alcoa’s product innovations from nose to tail, and wingtip to wingtip.
In this video, Alcoa's Patricia Marvaldi tells you what to look for during the show.
Watch the Alcoa
Aerospace blog for updates throughout the Paris Air Show or come visit us
in Hall 5 – F220. We’ll tell you what’s happening at the show, what’s hot in
the aerospace market, and the
latest news from Le Bourget.
The show runs from 17 to 23 June 2013.
has more than 100 years of experience as a leader in developing and producing
for aerospace customers – military,
commercial, and private.
The International Paris Air Show – Le Bourget continues with
its 50th show – as the premier and largest worldwide event dedicated to the
aviation and space industry. This year’s show will include 2,000+ exhibitors,
150,000+ trade visitors, 3,200+ journalists and 290+ official delegations. It
is the event for aviation and space industry professionals to discover the
latest innovations, admire over 150 aircrafts and enjoy the flying display.
Getting booth ready
at the world’s leading aerospace event.