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28 AsianAviation | APRIL 2011
Airbus is in discussions with research organisations
and universities in Australia on the potential use of
technolog y and processes developed in the country,
as the European aircra manufacturer increases
collaboration with partners outside Europe.
The Toulouse, France-based company is
exploring a range of technologies being developed
in Australia, with work by the Co-operative
Research Centre for Advanced Composite
Structures (CRC-ACS), CSIRO, Defence Science
and Technology Organisation, CAST CRC and
universities of particular interest.
e manufacturer is trying to assess the skills on
o er in Australia, says Dale King, Airbus s senior
manager for international research and technology
partnerships. " ere is potential here [in Australia]
that hasn t properly been tapped," he says.
Airbus is especially interested in a new composite-
bonding method, Thermoset Composite Welding
(TCW), which has been developed by CRC-ACS.
The aircraft maker hopes it might be able to use
the technolog y within two years.
TCW allows the rapid assembly of carbon/
epoxy components, combining the rapid welding
potential of thermoplastic composites with the
versatility and lower cost of pre-impregnated
carbon/epoxy fibres ('pre-pregs ), according to
A layer of thermoplastic is incorporated in the
surface of components to be joined during layup.
The thermoplastic and thermoset polymers then
intermingle before the cure is complete, providing
a strongly attached thermoplastic surface on
the thermoset composite laminate.
During the welding process,
these laminates can be rapidly
joined, providing a robust joint
with less sensitivity to aggressive
environments than adhesive
bonded joints, says CRC-ACS.
The process can deliver cost savings on
aircraft components of 10 percent, CRC-
ACS predicts, with Airbus anticipating the
process could yield dramatic cuts in assembly costs.
Airbus has been working with the CRC-ACS for
some time, but has recently become a full partner
in the government-industry research organisation
in order to benefit from TCW and other research
Airbus is initially looking at the use of TCW
for brackets and attachments, but it has the
potential for more ambitious applications, such
as attaching stringers to panels, says King. Airbus
hopes the technolog y will be mature enough in
one or two years for initial use in small-scale, non-
load bearing applications. By 2015, Airbus should
know whether TCW will work for substantial
Hawker Paci c is looking at expanding its xed-base
operation (FBO) activities in the Asia-Paci c, with
China and India both on the company s radar.
Chief Executive Officer Alan Smith says the
company is keen to identify new FBO opportunities
in China, following the success of its joint-venture
FBO with the Shanghai Airport Authority, which
opened last year. e company s Shanghai operation
will be expanded in May with the opening of a
new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO)
The initial FBO is performing better than
anticipated with a large potential for growth, Smith
"We ve seen a fairly rapid development of business
aviation in China. We envisage [that] China is
capable of supporting a network of regional FBOs,"
he says. e company has a dedicated business-
development manager in China looking at new
opportunities in the country.
In addition, Hawker Paci c has submitted a bid
with Indian partners to operate the FBO and MRO
facility at Delhi. Evaluation of the bids is currently
The business-jet manufacturer is also entering
a joint venture with Malaysia s Subang Skypark
regarding joint operation of the FBO there.
For the last three years Hawker Pacific has
operated the FBO at Skypark in a joint venture
with Execujet, but Execujet pulled out of the
partnership at the end of last year. A new deal with
Subang Skypark was expected to be concluded by
the end of March.
Expansion of Hawker Paci c s regional operations
follows the recent start of work on the company s
new S$15 million (US$11.8 million) customer sales
and service centre at Singapore s Seletar Aerospace
Park. e new, 9,400 square metre Private Jet Centre
will include: a fully equipped heavy-maintenance jet
ser vice centre; spares distribution and repainting
facilities; a VIP reception and FBO; customer and
crew lounges; and dedicated, covered jet parking.
e facility, which will replace Hawker Paci c s
existing operation at East Camp, Singapore, is
scheduled for completion in December.
be able to
for attachments within
NEWS IN BRIEF
PIPER AIRCRAFT has appointed Piper
Australia Aircraft Sales as the manufacturer's
new sales agent for Australia. Piper Australia
is an associate company of Moorabbin,
Melbourne-based flying school Moorabbin
Flying Services. The school operates an
all-Piper fleet. The aircraft manufacturer
displayed a Piper Matrix, Warrior and
Seminole at the Australian International Air
Show in early March.
Airbus seeks Australian technology
Hawker Pacific eyes further
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