The aviation industry is nearing key decisions on its development of next-generation short- to medium-range jetliners, and Alcoa Aerospace has answers that will enable these aircraft to meet – and exceed – their design and operational targets.
Alcoa’s solutions include new aluminum alloys, third-generation aluminum-lithium alloys and product forms with 3-7 percent lower densities, while also offering technical solutions that enable the performance and functionality required for next-generation aircraft to achieve lighter aircraft weight and significantly expanded inspection intervals.
Advanced structural concepts from Alcoa Aerospace enable up to a 10-times improvement in damage tolerance for critical airframe areas. Enhanced stiffness allows for increased wing aspect ratios on next-generation aircraft, providing better range through improved aerodynamics, endurance and fuel efficiency.
In addition, Alcoa’s structural technologies permit increased cabin pressurization for better passenger comfort – as its new materials can permit higher humidity because of their improved corrosion resistance. When combined, these new materials and advanced structural technologies enable the larger windows desired on next-generation jetliners, while also extending maintenance inspection intervals and enhancing safety due to enhanced fatigue and corrosion resistance.
The company’s broad portfolio also allows Alcoa to combine expertise in metallic structures with its advanced fastening system products for highly innovative structural health monitoring solutions, reducing the time between regularly-scheduled inspections while also extending aircraft design service goals from today’s typical 20-year lifetimes to 30 years or more.
Alcoa Aerospace is backed by Alcoa’s more than $40 million in annual investments to develop new products and cutting-edge aerospace technologies, with its expertise ensured through the company’s own high-performance trade study and design tools that help identify and validate benefits of new materials and design concepts.
The technology vision at Alcoa Aerospace includes a continued commitment to, and support for, multi-functional resource teams that work side-by-side with aircraft manufacturers. This is part of a fully integrated trade study approach to solve the challenges posed by current and new aircraft missions – where Alcoa's new products and innovative design technologies can drive trade study processes targeting specific aircraft program needs.