Several Alcoa-developed high-performance alloys and products produced from its worldwide operations are being used on China’s first home-produced regional jet, the ARJ21-700.
The first ARJ21 rolled off the production line in Shanghai last December and is expected to be ready for delivery to its first customers in 2009. The ARJ21, developed by major aircraft manufacturer China Aviation Industry Corp. I (AVIC I), is one of the first steps in China’s plan for its civil aircraft manufacturing industry.
“Advanced Alcoa alloys play an important part in meeting performance goals of China’s new regional jet,” said Helmut Wieser, Alcoa Executive Vice President and Group President, Global Rolled Products and Hard Alloy Extrusions and Asia. “In addition, Alcoa worked closely with AVIC I on determining material recommendations for various components of the aircraft, as well as holistic factory floor manufacturing support on such aspects as dimensional design and surface attributes.”
Alcoa advanced materials on the ARJ21 include heat-treated sheet and plate alloys from Alcoa’s Davenport, IA, plant, which are used on the airframe and throughout the aircraft where high-strength, toughness, crack resistance, and corrosion resistance are required. Alcoa extrusions made from proprietary alloys and process technologies are provided for the wing and fuselage stringers, floor beams, and seat tracks. The extrusions are sourced from Alcoa’s Lafayette, IN; Changwon, South Korea; and Chandler, AZ, plants.
In addition, Alcoa Fastening Systems’ specially engineered aerospace fasteners, including engine nuts, inserts, and studs, are used on the two GE CF34-10A engines used to power the aircraft. The GE engines are equipped with airfoil castings and structural components from Alcoa’s Power and Propulsion businesses in Whitehall, MI; Wichita Falls, TX; and Winsted and Branford, CT.
According to GE, the CF34-10A is “designed for western China’s hot/high airports,” with a potential market of 500 aircraft totaling $3 billion.
The medium-range, 90-passenger aircraft is designed for decades of service.