As the exclusive supplier of composite flat panels to all of Airbus’ commercial aircraft through our subsidiary, Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), we are excited to be supporting A350F, the all-new widebody freighter that Airbus is developing.
Under a Design and Build package, EFW will supply more than 600 composite components for the A350F, and develop cutting-edge components including reinforced floor structures based on new and innovative sandwich lay-ups. The freighter aircraft is expected to undergo flight tests in 2024, and enter service in 2025.
What makes our flat panels incredibly suitable for use in freighter aircraft is their quality in being lightweight and yet particularly strong and robust. Although a square metre of our lightest high-performance composite aircraft panel weighs only 1kg, these panels are ultra-strong and can cope easily with immense loads. Some panel lay-ups are even designed to handle a shear load of over 20 tonnes, and hence extremely durable and robust in withstanding the loading and unloading of cargo containers.
Our composite solutions are not only great for aircraft. While EFW produces mainly for the aviation industry – with composite solutions amounting to 55,000 different parts – we also cater to the rail industry, and have equipped more than 500 trams in six countries with flat panels.
As we continue to innovate and improve our composite panels, their benefits and uses can extend beyond the transportation sector and potentially into the construction sector. One of our recent innovations is ‘EcoFacade’, which reduces environmental impact through the use of carbon-neutral reinforcing fibres. By employing shading and insulation principles, ‘EcoFacade’ also helps to maintain the optimal temperature within interiors, thereby improving energy efficiency in temperature control. As the world gears up on sustainability, innovations such as these will help to make travel and urban living greener.
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