Eurocopter to extend its global industrial network with a new production facility at Querétaro, Mexico

jueves, 10 de febrero de 2011

Eurocopter will create a new industrial facility in Querétaro, Mexico to support its global production network, further reinforcing the company's manufacturing capabilities while also augmenting its presence in the Latin American marketplace.
Marignane,  09 febrero 2011

This selection results from a comprehensive study to determine the optimum location for this latest production facility in Eurocopter's international industrial network, with the choice based on Querétaro's economic, geographic, educational and strategic position. Eurocopter has been present in Mexico for some 30 years, with its activities managed by the company's Eurocopter de Mexico S.A. de C.V. subsidiary. Based at Mexico City International Airport and staffed by nearly 200 employees, Eurocopter de Mexico provides services for helicopters located in the region, along with sales and marketing support. In addition to its Mexican market responsibilities, the company's coverage area also includes Central America, northern South America and the Caribbean.

The capabilities of Eurocopter de Mexico include aircraft assembly, maintenance and painting, along with professional training for helicopter pilots and technicians through partnership agreements with educational institutions such as the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), Mexico's National Technical Professional School (CONALEP), the country's Pilot Training Academy and Heliescuela.

EADS

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Nanotechnology could pave the way for hydrogen fuels

  • EADS and Scottish scientists are working on new storage tanks for hydrogen
  • Use of hydrogen in aircraft and car engines would deliver huge benefits to the environment
  • If successful, EADS plans to fly an unmanned hydrogen-powered test plane in 2014

EADS Innovation Works, the Group's corporate research arm, is working with university researchers to find a new solid state storage system for hydrogen. This technology would make it possible to use hydrogen as a clean alternative to traditional hydrocarbon-based fuels in aeroplane and car engines.

Hydrogen is a clean fuel which produces only water on combustion or when combined with oxygen in a fuel cell to produce electrical power. However, it can be expensive and difficult to store safely. In addition, to store hydrogen as a gas demands high volumes, while to store as a liquid increases weight and the energy requirement (to compress it).

Storage of hydrogen in a solid is, therefore, very attractive but minimising weight and volume of the store is challenging and the rate of transfer from the tank to a fuel cell or engine is often slow. These barriers are currently holding back the use of hydrogen on an industrial scale in fuel cells to provide power for aeroplanes and road vehicles.

Chemists at the University of Glasgow are working with EADS by using nanotechnology to alter the design and material composition of a storage tank with the aim of making it so efficient that it will be feasible to use solid state hydrogen on an industrial scale for aeroplanes and cars.

If the developments to the tank structure are successful, EADS is planning to fly an un-manned hydrogen-powered test plane in 2014 with a longer term view of introducing commercial aeroplanes powered by hydrogen.

"Replacing traditional hydrocarbon-based fuels with pollution-free hydrogen in aeroplane and car engines would deliver huge benefits to the environment because carbon emissions would be dramatically reduced" said Dr.-Ing. Agata Godula-Jopek, Fuel Cells Expert in the EADS Power Generation Team, which is coordinating the programme for the company.

Duncan Gregory, Professor of Inorganic Materials at the School of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, is leading the research. He is using nanotechnology to alter the structure of the Hydrisafe Tank, which is a new design under development by Hydrogen Horizons, a Scottish-registered start-up company.

The University and EADS IW have secured funding from the Materials Knowledge Transfer Network - part of the UK Technology Strategy Board - and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). This will allow a student to carry out a four year PhD project, spending time at the University and the company's German offices in Ottobrunn.

The research will involve testing the Hydrisafe tank with alternative hydrogen storage materials. The tank currently uses the established and commercially available lanthanum nickel (LaNi¬5) storage alloy. The research will look into replacing LaNi¬5 with other hydride materials such as magnesium hydride (MgH2), which has been modified at the nanoscale to allow it to receive and release the hydrogen at an even faster rate.

Modifying the construction of the tank will extend its longevity, making it suitable to have a solid state hydrogen storage system that can feed a fuel cell at the required energy densities required on an aeroplane.

Professor Gregory said: "Using new active nanomaterials in combination with novel storage tank design principles presents a hugely exciting opportunity to address the considerable challenges of introducing hydrogen as a fuel for aviation. This collaboration between engineers and chemists and between industry and academia provides the pathway to achieve this"

EADS IW and Prof Gregory's team are seeking funding from the European Union to build a European-wide team of academic and industrial partners to examine the wider issues relating to using hydrogen on an industrial scale to power aeroplane and car engines.

There is a recognition that while there is a strong potential for the adoption of fuel cells into the portable fuel cells market, key barriers to delivering this are the safe, efficient and cost-effective storage of hydrogen. The research project, if approved, would explore how best to deliver a practical solid state hydrogen solution for portable and micro fuel cell systems.


EADS Press release

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