At the Paris Air Show 2011, Alcoa, along with Spirit AeroSystems, will display an innovative fuselage panel made of aluminum-lithium alloy for the commercial aerospace industry.
The new aluminum-based solutions have lower production risks compared to composite-made aircraft. The panel is lightweight, cost-effective and can be produced using existing infrastructure.
Alcoa’s Al-Li 2060 aluminum-lithium alloy has been used in the fuselage of a jetliner. Spirit AeroSystems has performed the stretch-forming process to produce a final curved shape. The advanced aluminum-lithium alloy is compatible with the present production supply chain of new jetliners and delivers corrosion resistance, damage tolerance and strength. The compatibility benefit is important for single-aisle jetliner programs demanding high output rates and rapid production.
The Al-Li 2060 material from Alcoa represents next-generation aluminum alloys with enhanced corrosion resistance and strength that match or exceed the characteristics of composite materials. In addition to supplying aluminum-lithium alloy sheets to Spirit AeroSystems, Alcoa also provided surface treatment processes for manufacture of fuselage panel sections.
Alcoa has recently unveiled a new line of metallic solutions for short-range aircraft that meets the requirements of airframers in terms of fuel efficiency, maintenance, aerodynamic drag, corrosion resistance and buy-to-fly ratio. These materials are expected to save nearly 10% of weight than composite-intensive aircraft and reduce manufacturing, operating and repairing cost by 30%.