When UK based light aircraft company, e-GO aeroplanes, took on the challenge of designing a Single Seat De-Regulated (SSDR) class aircraft for a competition held by the Light Aircraft Association (LAA), it needed parts that would help keep the total weight down to less than 115 Kg. Trelleborg Offshore helped with that goal by providing an epoxy-based tooling block—the EP678.
Tony Bishop, CEO at e-Go Airplanes, commented: “In 2007, following an announcement by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority of the new class of aircraft, the Light Aircraft Association (LAA) launched a competition for new designs in this category. We designed the e-Go project to be exciting, efficient, easy to fly, ecological and ergonomic and entered it into the ‘state-of-the-art’ category of the competition.
“Trelleborg Offshore provided half-size boards of its EP678 tooling block to make the patterns for all the composite work. When building the e-Go, we require accurately machined patterns with an excellent surface finish and temperature stability as we have to be able to make the composite components quickly, efficiently and with an excellent finish; the epoxy block suited these needs very well.”
The program has now reached the prototype phase and patterns are currently being machined at a number of CNC shops. Moulds and parts are then built at the e-Go Centre from composite materials, mainly pre-impregnated carbon. The first prototype flight is planned for Summer 2012 and production is expected to commence soon after. The company’s aim is to manufacture 30 aircraft in the first year.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense, Materials • advanced