15 April 2010
Premium AEROTEC has signed a license agreement for its increased utilization of the Vacuum Assisted Process (VAP®), which will enable this major supplier of aircraft components and systems to expand commercial uses of the EADS-patented technology in manufacturing composite airframe structures.
The agreement’s signing occurred at the JEC Composites show in Paris, and will open new opportunities for Premium AEROTEC’s utilization of VAP® – a process that the company already has applied in producing composite components for the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 jetliners, the Airbus Military A400M airlifter, and the EADS Barracuda military unmanned aerial vehicle.
In the photo to the left, the license agreement is signed by Wulf Hoeflich, head of EADS’ Technology Licensing initiative (at right), and Premium AEROTEC’s head of programs and sales, Joachim Nägele.
The Barracuda’s nearly 10-metre-long airframe was manufactured by Premium AEROTEC in a “single-shot” process, demonstrating the VAP’s capabilities to be used in producing complete airframes.
“Just as we have done with the Barracuda, I am convinced that VAP will be much more widely used in aircraft manufacturing, going all the way to the production of complete airframes,” explained Joachim Nägele, Premium AEROTEC’s head of programs and sales.
Nägele said this expectation for major growth in aviation-related VAP production is based on the company’s extensive experience with the process. He noted that VAP manufacturing at Premium AEROTEC already includes some 70 shipsets of A380 flap tracks – a component that is subject to high loads and stress during flight, along with six A400M rear cargo doors, which have a length of 6.5 metres and a width of 4.5 metres.
In addition, the company has supplied more than 30 rear fuselage bulkheads built with the VAP process for the Boeing 787, with another 20 currently in production.
Wulf Hoeflich, who heads the EADS Technology Licensing initiative, said the VAP technology has attracted a significant amount of interest from both airframe component suppliers and aircraft manufacturers during this week’s JEC Composites show.
“VAP provides an optimised out-of-autoclave manufacturing process that results in structures with very high quality and very low porosity,” he said. “These significant advantages open the way for exciting new uses of VAP, which was clearly recognised by attendees at the JEC Composites show – not only for aerospace, but in other applications as well, including renewable energy, maritime, and automotive.”
The VAP technology was patented by EADS Military Air Systems – a unit of EADS’ Defence & Security division. It was developed in cooperation with EADS Innovation Works, which is the company’s global network of technical capabilities centres.
“VAP illustrates how EADS technologies can be licensed to help companies expand their market opportunities,” said Martin Salzburger, the manager for VAP Technology Licensing at EADS Military Air Systems. “Our new agreement will enable Premium AEROTEC to significantly expand its use of VAP in producing components for commercial jetliners, business jets and other aircraft.”
• Learn more about the EADS Technology Licensing initiatives’ achievements and activities with the archived news stories.