Under Aerolia coordination: THE SAMBA PROJECT TAKES OFF

The SAMBA project, (for "Shock Absorber Material for Birdshield Application"), backed by Aerolia Design & Research Division, concerns the development of new generation bird impact shields for commercial and business aircraft.

Toulouse29 May 2013

Bird impacts in the aeronautical field can cause serious damage to aircraft, especially during take-off and airport approach phases. Over the last 20 years, Civil Aviation has had to bear costs of several hundred million dollars for the consequences of bird impacts on aircraft. The strength of airframes has therefore become a major priority for aircraft and airframe manufacturers.

"Since 20 % of bird impacts affected fuselage nose sections, we decided with our partners on the SAMBA Project to work on aircraft cockpit birdshields", observes Guillaume Vuillermoz Head of R&T Aerolia sas Group.

Ambitious objectives

"Our consortium aims to propose an industrial shield structure concept based on a new differentiating technology offering much better overall performance", continues Pierre Magnin, Head of R&T Engineering Aerolia. "To achieve this objective we must create new shield models and develop innovating test methods".

This new shield concept will result in a higher level of performance in order to lighten the structure by 10 to 20 % for the shield and its sub-assemblies and increase the overall cockpit safety level.

A partnership of skills

"To successfully complete this project, AEROLIA remains faithful to its strategy associating the fabric of SMEs with its developments in Research & Technologies; we launched this innovating R&T partnership with the SMEs in 2011 with, for example, Aeroteam Services for the electron beam welding technologies", points out Christian Cornille, CEO of Aerolia sas. "For SAMBA, Aerolia partnered with the SMEs ESTEVE (laser fusion of aluminium powder), ATECA (manufacture of core materials), NIMITECH (innovating technologies for composite components) and CEDREM (modelling of the impact behaviour of honeycomb and 3D energy-absorbing materials).

EADS Innovation Works will be involved as expert on the materials used in the shock resistance structures. Lastly, STRATIVER (HUTCHINSON group) will be involved on the shield production process.

 Two laboratories are also involved on the SAMBA Project: the Institut Clément Ader in Toulouse and the “Institut de Mécanique et d’Ingénierie in Bordeaux” (I2M), on the numerical analyses and tests.

Two lines of action will be studied regarding composite and metallic materials as well as a hybrid research approach combining the two skills of Aerolia, which designed and manufactured composite and metallic sections of the Airbus A350 XWB.

Labelled by the Aerospace Valley cluster and supported by the Aerospace Valley, Astech and Pegase aerospace clusters, the SAMBA Project recently received official backing from the French Government, as well as from Airbus and Europcopter which have already expressed their interest and support.

French No. 1 in aerostructures and world reference in design and production of aircraft fuselages, Aerolia has facilities in France (Méaulte, St-Nazaire and Toulouse), Germany, Canada, China, South Korea, United Arab Emirates and Tunisia. With a 51 % increase in turnover over 4 years and highly encouraging perspectives for the future in terms of development, Aerolia has a headcount of 3200 employees, including 2500 spread over its sites in France (Design Offices and Production centres) and a 2012 turnover of 1.4 million dollars (1 billion euros turnover) achieved with its Customers Airbus and Bombardier.


Contacts for the media:

Philippe Le Grégam
Head of Communications Aerolia SAS
Cell: +33 6 80 41 81 49


Press Release




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