Success in aerospace – forged on the ground 2 minutes spent reading

Success in aerospace – forged on the ground

Volkmar Held
As a freelance writer, Volkmar Held reports for voestalpine on topics that move people. The content of his stories ranges from archaeometallurgy to future technologies.

Faster, larger, lighter – the future of aerospace. The desire to fly has always always fascinated mankind. More and more passengers want to fly comfortably, affordably and safely. voestalpine is advancing technologies that help fulfill this desire. The inventory of aircraft will double over the next 20 years – and all modern commercial aircraft contain products from voestalpine.

Large aircraft like the Airbus A380 are true heavyweights when it comes to achieving the dream of safe – and affordable – flight. And not only due to their passenger capacity: during takeoff their engines have to bring a full 560 metric tons to cruising altitude. It’s no wonder that the wingtips can be lifted and lowered by up to 2 meters during this process. The wings, which have a surface area the size of a basketball court, have to be able to withstand enormous forces.

Show of strength

These forces pull on the point where the wing meets the fuselage at the center box. That is the part of the fuselage where the wings are attached. On Boeing’s Dreamliner, side-load fittings  manufactured and delivered by BÖHLER Schmiedetechnik GmbH & Co KG  bear the load at this point. On the wings, in turn, the engine connections must withstand thrust of more than 200,000 hp. To hold up under these forces, aircraft manufacturers need high-strength parts – and these are precisely the parts that voestalpine supplies. The manufacturer in Kapfenberg, Austria, employs the power of the world’s largest spindle press to counter the enormous force placed on the fasteners and connecting components.

Material for peak performance

Modern materials made from high-strength steel-, titanium- or nickel-based alloys help lighten the weight of aircraft. The special strength of these materials allows fewer large components to be used. The importance of this can be seen in the fleet of Germany’s Lufthansa airline: The company’s sustainability report Balance states that a reduction of one kilogram per aircraft results in annual savings of 30 metric tons of fuel!

For the safe and environmentally compatible air transport of today and tomorrow, voestalpine is building upon the latest high-tech materials and highly efficient production technologies – so that safety won’t weigh even one gram too much.

Volkmar Held