Perhaps the best recognition of a team's work is when a customer cites its efforts. According to Airbus, "Alcoa sought - and won - a strategic position on the A380® by applying its integrated product approach.
"Alcoa applied all of its aviation industry experience to the A380 program, developing new alloys specifically for the 555-seat aircraft as part of the largest development program ever undertaken by the metals manufacturer."
The A380 features more new Alcoa materials and products than any other aircraft on which the company has been involved. Alcoa products are literally used from nose to tail, beginning with forward landing gear support structure to forgings for the horizontal and vertical stabilizers.
Working closely with Airbus's design team, Alcoa Fastening Systems developed the XPL® Lockbolt with a titanium collar that is both strong enough to handle the wing's great size and compatible with the composite and aluminum materials it has to link. As a result, the A380 will use about one million Alcoa Lockbolts on every aircraft.
A new, highly damage-tolerant alloy called A6013 HDT is used for the A380 fuselage skins, while the largest die forgings ever made by Alcoa will serve as the aircraft's 21-ft.-long x 6-ft.-wide wing spars.
On the A380's upper wing, skins measuring up to 112 ft. in length are being produced from A7055 alloy, and Alcoa is manufacturing lower wing skins with the A2024 HDT alloy that also provides high damage-tolerant qualities.
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