The inaugural flight of the C919, China's first domestically produced single-aisle passenger jet, has ushered in a new level of technological advancement and production efficiency in the commercial aircraft industry. W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) extends its congratulations to the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) for this milestone. The C919 successfully took to the sky for the first time at 2 p.m. at Shanghai Pudong International Airport on May 5, 2017.
GORE™ SKYFLEX™ Aerospace Materials (tapes and gaskets) were specified in the C919 providing panel sealing and surface protection throughout the aircraft. Gore’s materials remain in place under compression and do not squeeze out, providing a durable barrier between the faying surfaces, as well as a seal against contaminants. This protects the structure and corrosion-inhibiting coatings on the surfaces from abrasion damage due to flexing, vibration or contaminants. GORE™ SKYFLEX™ Aerospace Materials are made from ePTFE, a unique proprietary material that does not require curing like traditional form-in-place (FIP) seals such as polysulfide sealants, saving time and money during production and in service maintenance.
“This flight of the C919 marks a major advance in the aerospace industry, not just for China but for the global market as well,” said Gore Product Specialist Andreas Eckert. “The GORE™ SKYFLEX™ Aerospace Materials team is honored to have our product line among the innovative technologies that were critical in meeting the production goals for the C919.”
Launched on November 2, 2015, the C919 is a short-to-medium range commercial airliner designed and built by COMAC. The basic model is designed to cover a range of 4075 km (2500 mi), while the enhanced model can stretch to 5555 km (3450 mi). The C919 is expected to go into operation between 2020 and 2022.
“When considering our choices for panel sealant and protection, we needed a durable and reliable solution to ensure the C919 would be safe and ready as scheduled,” said Mr. Han Kecen, deputy president, COMAC Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute and vice general manager of C919 Project. “GORE™ SKYFLEX™ Aerospace Materials gave us that performance, while also being very easy to apply, saving us valuable time and resources in the lead-up to the aircraft’s maiden voyage.”