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HEGAN members provide technology for Airbus A400M and Boeing 787

The Basque Aeronautics industry is diversifying the range of its customers and market niches. In recent weeks the participation by companies part of HEGAN, the Basque Aeronautics and Space Cluster, in two grand projects has been announced: the A400M Airbus transport plane and the long-range B787, from the North American Boeing company.

In the first project, a total of 21 associates of HEGAN have contributed to the A400M Airbus project with their applied technologies in the areas of aerostructures, aero-engines and systems and equipment.

Notable amongst the major adjudications in the field of aerostructures is the design of structural components for horizontal tail planes, including stringers, rib cores and fuel tank seal plates and rib-to-stringer cleats; as well as wing spars in composite material and HTP box and wing stringers, also in composite material. Basque firms are also responsible for components for the HTP horizontal tail planes and the rear cones. Basque companies also manufacture the sponsons for the A400M, the main function of which is the opening and closing of the aircraft's landing gear.

In the area of aeroengines, other Basque companies - as part of the European EPI TP400 consortium – have designed and manufactured these, together with Snecma, MTU and Rolls-Royce. With a quota of 21% in this field, Basque participation focuses on the design, development and manufacture of the low pressure turbine (LPT), the turbine exit cone, gas exhaust tubes and external elements.

The A400M is a long-haul transport plane driven by 4 turbo-propeller engines and designed to replace the ageing fleets of C-130 Hercules and C-160 Transall, currently in use by armed forces throughout the world. It will operate in multiple situations, including the transport of cargo, medical evacuation, air refuelling and electronic monitoring, and will be able to land on short runways and soft ground.

The aircraft is 45.1 metres long, has a width of 42.4 metres and a height of 14.7 metres. It will have a top operational speed of 555 kilometres per hour and flying range of 3,300 kilometres with maximum load. 30 per cent of the fuselage – including the wings, the loading door and the horizontal tailplane - will be made of composite materials.

In the other hand, a total of 13 associates of the HEGAN Cluster have participated in the Boeing 787 project, developing and applying new technologies at its various stages – from the engineering of complete large aerostructures to the front undercarriage and the engines. It is expected that the advances in technology of these engines will contribute up to 8% more in the efficiency of the new aircraft.

In the area of engines, the contribution of Basque enterprises involves the complete design, manufacture and assembly of the low pressure turbine (LPT) and Rear Frame, and in the manufacture of various components and treatments of surfaces that enable the materials employed in construction to acquire exceptional characteristics against fatigue and wear. Notable in the field of aeroestructures is the conceptual engineering of the B787 wing, amongst other elements. Finally, as regards systems and equipment, Basque companies have contributed various components and sub-sets.

Boeing has announced that about 50% of the main structure of the 787, including fuselage and wings, will be made of composite materials. According to the North American manufacturer, this aircraft will provide carriers with greatly enhanced efficiency in terms of fuel consumption, with the concomitant benefits for the environment, given that this craft will use 20% less fuel than any other of its size on similar hauls and airlines will thus have more income per cargo.

The 787-8 Dreamliner model will transport between 210 and 250 passengers on long-haul routes between 14,200 km and 15,200 km, while the 787-9 Dreamliner will accommodate between 250-290 passengers on routes between 14,800 km and 15,750 km. A third model in the 787 family, the 787-3 Dreamliner will be able to take 290-330 passengers with a flight range of between 4,600 km to 5,650 km.

Press release issued by Hegan - Basque Aerospace Cluster on March 8, 2010


 Contact details from our directory:
Airbus Defence & Space HQ Airframer
Boeing Commercial Airplanes Airframer
Hegan - Basque Aerospace Cluster Trade Organisations


 Related aircraft programs:
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Airbus A400M


 Related directory sectors:
Trade Organisations

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