World’s Largest-Ever Commercial Aircraft Enabled by DuPont High-Tech, Lightweight Materials in its Maiden Voyage

New 555-passenger Airbus A380 Relies on High-Performance DuPont Innovations

WILMINGTON, Del. and BLAGNAC, France, April 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The world’s largest commercial jetliner – the first-ever, full-length twin- deck aircraft – made its maiden voyage yesterday, relying on a host of DuPont lightweight, high-performance materials to lift its 308-ton frame aloft. The innovative DuPont materials include Kevlar(R) and Nomex(R) aramid fibers, Vespel(R) high-performance materials, Tefzel(R) fluoropolymer resin, Oasis(R) composite wire insulation, and Tedlar(R) PVF film.

The Airbus A380, which took its first test flight in front of over 50,000 spectators yesterday in Blagnac, seats 555 passengers and will begin commercial airline service after Singapore Airlines takes delivery in 2006. The “superjumbo” aircraft has four engines and a flight range of up to 15,000 kilometers – enabling it to fly nonstop between Europe and Asia.

As the largest-ever commercial aircraft, the A380 relies on a number of high-performance materials developed by DuPont – providing key benefits such as weight savings, strength, and durability. DuPont advanced fibers, electronic components and composites are assisting Airbus to meet demanding strength and weight requirements, as well as stringent safety standards. The A380 and the aeronautics industry require products with a complex combination of properties: strength and durability, light weight, resistance to harsh environments, and ease of use in manufacturing. Safety considerations, such as flame resistance, are also of paramount importance to Airbus and the industry.

“DuPont is putting science to work to help enable Airbus’ innovative concept to evolve from an idea on a drawing board into a reality in our skies,” said Roger Siemionko, DuPont safety & protection’s technology director. “Since the infancy of aviation, DuPont has been along for the ride with unique materials essential for lighter weight, reduced volume, durability and environmental resistance. Our work with Airbus is another example where DuPont science and technology provides unique solutions to the aerospace industry and the broader marketplace.”

The new Airbus A380 includes a new honeycomb composite made from DuPont(TM) Kevlar(R) which is found from its flooring to interior walls to wing flaps. By replacing traditional heavier materials, Kevlar(R) can increase structural strength by 37 times. Pound for pound, Kevlar(R) is five times stronger than steel. As a honeycomb core, this strength allows the Kevlar(R) to dramatically increase the structural integrity of the aircraft, while enabling a substantial weight savings.

The A380 uses engine parts made with high-strength, lightweight Vespel(R), which reduces weight in the A380 by replacing heavier components made from metallic alloys and by reducing friction to allow for lower-weight actuators. Virtually every jet engine made in the Western world uses Vespel(R) parts.

DuPont(TM) Nomex(R) is among the materials to enhance the safety of A380. Nomex(R) – the same fiber that has helped protect firefighters for over 40 years – is inherently flame-resistant. In fiber and paper form, it is used in the aircraft’s flooring, wallcovers, structural parts, electrical cable conduits, wall fabrics and tapestries, carpeting, and fire-blocking seat liners.

DuPont helps the commercial, private, and military aerospace industry fly farther, faster, safer, and more efficiently. A broad range of DuPont materials is available for aircraft and parts manufacturers as well as aircraft owners and operators throughout the industry. Advanced fibers, electronic components and composites – help aircraft and parts manufacturers meet demanding strength and weight requirements as well as stringent safety standards for the aeronautics industry. For example, a typical large commercial jet may contain: up to 140 miles of wire and cable insulated with Tefzel(R) fluoropolymer resin and Oasis(R) composite wire insulation; lightweight floors, walls and ceilings cored with Kevlar(R) and Nomex(R) high- performance materials; interior walls protected with Tedlar(R) PVF film; and improved efficiency engines with Vespel(R) parts.

DuPont (NYSE:DD) is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.

The DuPont Oval, DuPont(TM), The miracles of science(TM), and Kevlar(R), Nomex(R), Vespel(R), Tefzel(R), Oasis(R) and Tedlar(R) are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.

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