PPG Aerospace to Supply Cockpit Windows for Airbus A400M Military Transport

PARIS, June 13, 2005 – PPG Aerospace – Transparencies has been awarded the sole-source contract by Airbus Military to supply the cockpit windows for its new military transport aircraft.

PPG has begun preliminary design of the transparencies for the A400M, which will have two main windshields and four other cockpit windows.

According to Mark Cancilla, PPG global business platform manager for transparencies, PPG is developing solutions to meet Airbus’ challenging specifications for the windshields and windows that include ballistics resistance and high visible-light transmittance to allow night vision goggle use.

“With our unique technological capabilities, we will be able to meet Airbus Military’s critical requirements for this important program as well as the specifications of countries purchasing the A400M,” Cancilla said. “Our history with Airbus has been a long and successful one over the past few decades supplying transparencies for its commercial fleet, and we look forward to continuing this cooperative relationship.”

Jean-Marc Coursières, PPG director of aircraft transparencies sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said that PPG is designing a standard shipset version of windows and an alternative design for armored transparencies that will fit the standard airframe envelope.

“We were able to offer technological solutions Airbus wanted for the transparencies on this aircraft, including complex and unique requirements for ballistics and bird-strike resistance, optics and light weight,” Coursières said. “We are designing these windows to be completely new technology, rather than advancements of previously successful designs.”

According to Coursières, the A400M with the alternative-design transparencies will be the first fixed-wing aircraft to have a fully armored set of cockpit windows.

“There had only been some early-generation military fighter aircraft with armored main windshields and some rotary-wing aircraft with all armored windows,” he said.

Mark Twibell, PPG senior design engineer and A400M program manager, said that Airbus has a rigorous timetable that it is strictly following to meet its schedule for first deliveries in 2009. PPG expects the transparencies to be qualified in 2007.

Seven European NATO nations have chosen the A400M for their air forces, with a total of 180 aircraft ordered by Germany, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg. South Africa has recently joined the A400M program and will receive eight aircraft. An additional 200 to 300 aircraft are expected to be ordered for export to other countries.

PPG is unveiling a sample mockup of the armored windshield for the A400M at the PPG Aerospace exhibit (Hall 2B, Stand F9) at the Paris Air Show June 13-19 at Le Bourget Airport.
Information about PPG Aerospace – PRC-DeSoto coatings, sealants and packaging and application systems also is available at the exhibit.

PPG Aerospace is the aerospace products and services business of PPG Industries.

PPG Aerospace – Transparencies is the world’s largest supplier of aircraft windshields, windows and canopies.

PPG Aerospace – PRC-DeSoto is a leading global producer and distributor of aerospace sealants, coatings, and packaging and application systems.

In addition to its aerospace business, Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries is a global supplier of glass, coatings, fiber glass and chemicals, with 2004 sales of US$9.5 billion.


Jeff Worden