A topflight team of products made by PPG Industries’ aerospace business for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet will simplify maintenance and reduce costs for airlines, while enhancing the flying experience for crews and passengers who take to the skies aboard the world’s newest jetliner.
Dreamliner jet flight-deck crews will view the world through commercial aviation’s largest windshields, kept clear of fog and ice with gold and indium-tin oxide heating systems. For passengers, the view will be through Alteos interactive window systems by PPG, commercial aviation’s first electrochromic window shades, powered by an interactive system that passengers control.
Maintenance will be simplified, environmentally responsible and less costly with a selectively strippable system of coatings. PPG Aerospace supplies the only complete coatings system qualified by Boeing for the 787.
Also, the fuselage and fuel tank are sealed with lightweight, rapid-curing and environmentally responsible PRC brand sealants by PPG Aerospace. Additionally, a new secondary fuel and vapor barrier was developed to seal the exterior of the 787’s wing box.
“Our goal was to provide products as advanced as the Dreamliner jet itself that enhance the flying experience while providing practical advantages of being lightweight, low maintenance and environmentally responsible,” said Barry Gillespie, PPG Aerospace vice president. “PPG continues its long-term association with Boeing as a supplier of world-class transparencies, coatings and sealants, and we know airlines that fly the Dreamliner jet will benefit as well.”
Enhanced Experience for Passengers, Crew with TransparenciesThe Boeing 787 will launch with Alteos interactive window systems by PPG that replace traditional pull-down opaque shades and enable passengers to select the amount of light transmitted through the window.
“Electrochromic shades were the ideal solution for the Boeing 787’s large passenger-cabin windows,” said Mark Cancilla, PPG business platform leader for commercial transparencies. “While Alteos interactive window systems make the flying experience more comfortable and fun for passengers, they afford operating efficiencies for airlines. They are lighter-weight than other shading systems and offer reduced maintenance because they are self-contained with no moving parts.”
Alteos interactive window systems use electrochromic technology by Gentex Corp., the worldwide leader in electrochromic devices for automotive applications.
The pilot and copilot for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet will sit behind the largest commercial-aviation windshields and side cockpit windows, affording a panoramic view spanning more than 13 feet across the cockpit.
“The windshields will have an outboard ply of strengthened glass and two stretched-acrylic plies,” Cancilla said. “Glass affords optical clarity and chemical and abrasion resistance. Combining it with acrylic enables us to produce a lightweight yet strong windshield. With this design, our windshields contributed to Boeing’s ability to meet their target weight.”
The electrically heated defog coatings on the 787 flight-deck windows are made with a gold thin-film. In addition to providing window heat, the coating reflects a large amount of infrared energy, which helps to minimize heat in the cockpit.
The flight-deck windows are aerodynamically contoured to enhance the 787’s fuel efficiency. The structurally loaded windshields will carry aircraft pressurization loads, transferring the structural load back to the airframe, according to Cancilla.
Environmentally Responsible Aerospace CoatingsBecause of the 787’s composite airframe, PPG devised an improved paint system, according to Brian Roberson, PPG Aerospace business platform leader for coatings. “Boeing will use a selectively strippable system on the new 787 aircraft consisting of our chromate-free Desoprime CA 7501 high-solids epoxy primer to protect the composite and metal surfaces, DeSoto F565-4010 chromate-free intermediate coating to facilitate topcoat removal for repainting, and Desothane CA 8000 high-solids polyurethane topcoats.
“When repainting is needed, a very mild, environmentally friendly chemical stripper can be used to remove the topcoats and intermediate coating,” Roberson said. “This eliminates the use of strong strippers and hand sanding that could damage the composite, and it also eliminates the need for re-priming and use of surface preparation chemicals.”
Desothane CA 8000 high-solids topcoats have more pigment than traditional coatings, so less material can be used to achieve needed coverage, and a lower percentage of solvent for reduced VOC emissions when being applied. With a four-hour dry time, airlines will be able to reduce process cycle time and get planes back into service sooner. Desothane CA 8000 topcoat has the fastest dry time of any material qualified to Boeing’s material specification (BMS 10-126), according to Roberson.
Expected time savings over a normal strip-and-repaint system is about 2.5 days. “As a result,” Roberson said, “airlines will reduce aircraft refinish downtime by about 40 percent by eliminating base primer application and hazardous materials collection and disposal.”
High-Performance, Lightweight PRC Aerospace SealantsPRC brand sealants provide performance characteristics designed for the 787’s composite airframe, while offering weight savings for enhanced fuel efficiency. “The 787 uses a variety of ‘Generation III’ lightweight sealants, which offer 20- to 30-percent weight reduction over their predecessors,” said John Sands, PPG Aerospace business platform leader for sealants. “On a wide-body aircraft such as the 787, these reductions take hundreds of pounds off the airframe, contributing to fuel savings and extending range.”
The 787 is the Boeing launch platform for PR-1772 chromate-free lightweight fuselage sealant, affording as much as a 30-percent weight savings per unit volume over traditional sealants. PR-2001 fuel-tank sealant is qualified for moldline exterior application because it is fast-curing, with low shrinkage, and its service range is up to 320 °F.
PPG Aerospace is the aerospace products and services business of PPG Industries. PPG Aerospace – PRC-DeSoto is the leading global producer and distributor of aerospace coatings, sealants, and packaging and application systems. PPG Aerospace – Transparencies is the world’s largest supplier of aircraft windshields, windows and canopies.
For more information, visit www.ppg.com.
Alteos is a trademark of PPG Industries.
Desoprime, Desothane, DeSoto and PRC are trademarks of PRC-DeSoto International.
Dreamliner is a trademark of Boeing.