ATK delivers first composite components for Airbus A350 XWB

The recent deliveries include stringers for three different sections of the aircraft fuselage. These were received by Aerolia in St Nazaire, France, in May, by Airbus in Nantes, France, in June, and by Premium Aerotec in Nordenham, Germany, earlier in July.

ATK's patented Automated Stiffener Forming Machine (ASFM) technology is instrumental in the manufacture of the A350 XWB composite stringers and is said to provide a cost effective manufacturing method for these complex parts. Depending on their location on the A350 XWB aircraft fuselage, the parts are either Omega- or T- shaped, are straight or curved and twisted, and are thin or thick.

ATK claims its proprietary production processes reduce manufacturing time by up to 90% over traditional hand lay-up methods, while its advanced ultrasonic inspection process ensures quality and rapid delivery.

The overall ATK content on the A350 XWB includes components for fuselage and engines built for Airbus, Aerolia, Premium Aerotec, Spirit Aerosystems and Rolls Royce, representing the largest commercial programme in ATK's history with total expected revenues of over US$1 billion. At peak production, ATK expects to produce up to 25 miles of composite components per month for the A350 XWB fuselage.