Carbon Fiber Composites for Automotive Manufacturing Processes

California-based company ICON Aircraft has developed the A5 - a new type of amphibious light-sport aircraft (LSA) - by using a combination of carbon fiber and lean automotive manufacturing processes.

So far, over 100 of these revolutionary A5 aircraft have been manufactured, due in large part to a current partnership between ICON Aircraft and Toray Advanced Composites.

ICON Aircraft required robust, lightweight materials for the A5 airframe, as well as for other essential assemblies. The decision was made to utilize Toray Advanced Composites’ carbon fiber composites early in the design process, primarily due to the company’s reputation, and its long history of providing in thermoplastic and thermoset composite materials to the aerospace industry.

Working alongside Toray Advanced Composites, ICON Aircraft has developed its carbon fiber part production capacity, linking this with automotive industry best practices to establish an efficient, high-volume production manufacturing process.

This has led to a new carbon fiber component manufacturing plant being established in Tijuana, Mexico, with assembly completed at the company’s existing facility in Vacaville, California, USA.

Both sites have begun to work with precise tooling, dedicated assembly lines, and detailed work instructions, leading to ICON winning numerous prestigious awards for their work in advancing the manufacture of carbon fiber composites.

The ICON A5 - Image Credit: ICON Aircraft

ICON Aircraft’s A5

Marketed as an affordable adventure partner, the A5 has been designed to be versatile, easy to operate, and consumer-friendly. The A5 is fitted with a range of advanced safety features including a parachute system able to deploy at low altitudes and a wingspan designed using proprietary airfoils in order to prevent spins.

The A5 also includes minimal gauges and intuitive instruments, as well as being able to accommodate both water and ground landings. Lastly, it features foldable wings, allowing for easy storage and transport.

Image Credit: ICON Aircraft

Expertise and Customer Service from Toray Advanced Composites

Toray Advanced Composites is widely recognized for its partnerships in emerging aerospace programs, as well as for its provision of optimized resin and fiber solutions.

Most importantly, the company delivers much more than materials – its customer service and technical support teams are committed to helping customers meet their timelines and to supporting customers as they work towards program success.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Toray Advanced Composites.

For more information on this source, please visit Toray Advanced Composites.

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