MT Aerospace AG: Leading technologies for future aerospace programs

Shaping technologies for future aerospace applications – this vision of MT Aerospace is demonstrated at this year’s International Paris Air Show in Le Bourget.

The Augsburg/Germany based aerospace supplier continuously extends its outstanding competencies in materials and manufacturing processes. MT Aerospace exhibits a three-dimensional dome segment of the Ariane 5 liquid hydrogen tank whose port flange was assembled using the friction stir welding method for the first time. Furthermore, the technology leader shows the latest successful developments in key programs as Ariane 5 ME, A400M and ALMA and demonstrates why MT Aerospace is an essential partner for the aerospace industry – today and tomorrow.

Enhancing technologies and manufacturing processes

The three-dimensional dome segment at the Paris Air show points out that MT Aerospace is taking new paths in the implementation of its leading-edge technologies. Friction stir welding replaces conventional fusion welding for the assembly of a port flange. Due to improved material properties of the weld, wall thickness of the segment can be reduced, resulting in reduced weight and costs. Furthermore, the innovative process is applicable to high-strength 2195 aluminum-lithium alloy for even higher performance.

In the field of large cryogenic tanks, MT Aerospace is setting new technology standards. In cooperation with NASA and Lockheed Martin Space, a tank dome with a diameter of 5.4 meters was manufactured for large cryogenic tanks. For the production, flat panels were joined to one plate by friction stir welding and then pressed into the final form using the spin-forming method. The large domes no longer have to be welded together from single segments in many individual steps, as a result significant weight and cost reductions could be achieved. Supported by the Bavarian government and in cooperation with Bavarian research facilities, MT Aerospace now promotes the industrialization of this technology – making future launch vehicles even more efficient and competitive. 

Performance delivered

A cooperation agreement for the development of the new Upper Stage tank for Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution was signed with Astrium in May. MT Aerospace is responsible for development and production of the enlarged, lightweight propellant tank, making the new cryogenic upper stage more efficient. From 2017 on, the Ariane 5 ME will have up to 20% more payload capacity. The European Launch Vehicle Ariane 5 is developed and constructed under Astrium industrial leadership.
For the European military transport airplane A400M, MT Aerospace produces assemblies and sub systems for the air supply of all heat exchangers (air condition, inflators, hydraulics) as well as aerodynamic fairings made of composite materials. The development stage was successfully concluded including the delivery of five ship sets for the currently carried out test flights. At present the production of the first serial ship sets is ramping up.
For the antennas and mechatronics division, MT Aerospace can also report great success. In April, the first antenna for the worldwide largest radio telescope project ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) in the desert of Atacama in Chile was handed over to the customer. Overall, 25 ready to use telescopes will be delivered by the system provider for this giant project in 5000 m height. The handover of the second antenna is in preparation.

MT Aerospace AG
The Executive Board

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