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Airtech Europe
Airtech Europe
Techtextil NA & TexProcess

21st June 2013, Almelo

Dutch extend TAPAS composites consortium

According to TenCate, this advanced material is a prime contender for selection as the material for the entire fuselage of future aircraft. © TenCate

Dutch Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp has signed a letter of intent extending the Thermoplastic Affordable Primary Aircraft Structure (TAPAS) consortium, which consists of eight Dutch companies and institutes from the aviation industry, at the Paris Air Show in France, yesterday.

A new fuselage panel for Airbus, the  leading French aircraft manufacturer, made of thermoplastic composite from TenCate Advanced Composites and produced by Airbus, Fokker Aerostructures and other TAPAS partners, was also introduced at the show.

Collaboration

The companies and institutes forming TAPAS have been working with Airbus on technological innovations for aviation industry in the fields of design, material, production and assembly technologies since 2009, supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and other parties.

Under the leadership of Airbus, the partners recently produced a demonstration model of a fuselage panel for passenger aircraft. The technological process was characterised by press forming, welding and co-consolidating the thermoplastic composite into a double-curved fuselage panel, including welded omega stringers and butt-jointed T-stringers.

Pioneering technology

It is the first time that such a large-scale fuselage panel has been made of thermoplastic composite.

According to TenCate, this advanced material is a prime contender for selection as the material for the entire fuselage of future aircraft, due to its unique properties, such as high stiffness, fire safety and excellent processability.

Future plans

The letter of intent to be signed by Minister Kamp aims to extend the existing research agreement of the TAPAS consortium and focuses on the continuing development of thermoplastic composites for wing and tail applications, for support structures for engines, and for fuselages.

TAPAS 2 will be the successor of TAPAS 1, which was initiated with the aim of expanding the development of thermoplastic composites for Airbus aircraft design and bringing these materials to a higher technology readiness level.

www.tencate.com

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