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March 8, 2002
Alcoa and Aviation Equipment, Inc. Announce ''FORTRESS'' Cockpit Door
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 8, 2002--Alcoa
Aerospace announced today that it has collaborated with Aviation
Equipment, Inc., of Los Angeles, Calif., to develop the FORTRESS(TM),
a door designed to prevent access to the cockpits of the world's
current commercial air fleet. The reinforced and armored door will
provide levels of protection mandated by the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) in response to the September terrorist attacks
while also offering global airlines fast and efficient retrofit
Structural design engineers from the Engineering Design Center at
Alcoa Technical Center (near Pittsburgh, PA) evaluated several
concepts and selected the FORTRESS(TM) design for FAA certification
testing. The FORTRESS(TM) cockpit door uses Alcoa 2519 ballistic
aluminum armor in conjunction with composite armor laminates. FAA
certification is in process.
The unique FORTRESS(TM) design uses standardized components and is
able to accommodate most aircraft models. The tamper-proof door is
furnished as a complete kit, including attachment hardware, and can be
installed in four hours or less -- allowing for overnight
installation. A security camera, with tamper alarm for monitoring from
the cockpit, is also available. A single-point door release is
reachable by both pilots from inside the cockpit. Only security coded
access is available from the passenger side of the cabin.
Upper and lower blow out panels allow for air pressure
equalization in both directions should rapid decompression occur. The
panels automatically re-latch after pressure is balanced. Only
slightly heavier than conventional, non-reinforced doors, the
FORTRESS(TM) door weighs 5.5 pounds per square foot.
"We have integrated our knowledge of aerospace materials, design,
engineering and manufacturing to develop a cockpit door that will meet
the U.S. government's performance objectives, the cost and
installation objectives of the airlines and the security concerns of
passengers," said Pat Hassey, executive vice president of Alcoa, who
is responsible for the company's aerospace market sector.
"We are fortunate to have more than two decades of successful
structural design and engineering experience to draw upon," Hassey
continued. "Working with both the automotive and aerospace industries,
Alcoa has developed a design methodology based upon principles of
'design for manufacturability' and 'design for assembly' which, when
coupled with our innovative aluminum products and processes,
substantially improve performance, reduce weight, and minimize costs."
"Alcoa and Aviation Equipment, Inc. have a great deal of practical
experience in many areas. We think the collaboration will give us a
very competitive approach to this new and important product
application," said Kristopher Bentson, Sr., vice president of Sales
and Marketing for Aviation Equipment, Inc.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum,
fabricated aluminum and alumina. It provides customers in packaging,
consumer products, automotive, aerospace, construction and other
markets with a variety of fabricated and finished products. Alcoa has
129,000 employees in 38 countries.
Aviation Equipment, Inc. specializes in the design, manufacture,
overhaul and repair and modification of components for a variety of
aircraft. The company also has extensive capabilities in advanced
composites, aluminum metal-to-metal and boned honeycombed structures
for control surfaces, cargo floor panels and other low-temperature
Aviation Equipment, Inc., also manufactures components for many
high-temperature applications utilizing alloys such as inconel,
hastealloy, titanium and stainless steel. With its extensive
engineering capabilities, the company has obtained many Supplemental
Type Certificates and Parts Manufacturing Approvals and is an
exclusive licensee of Alcoa's advanced aerospace laminate, Glare.