Aerospace glass: the evolution of the aviation industry in Italy and our collaboration with Leonardo Helicopters

21/02/2024


Isoclima is undergoing a profound transformation in the Aerospace sector. In order to offer cutting-edge solutions in terms of weight, geometries, durability, optical and thermal characteristics, we have moved from a "Build-to-Print" production to a "Build-to-spec" production. The "Build-to-spec" approach requires meeting project requirements through advanced planning of development, design and qualification phases. ISOCLIMA has organized itself with a laboratory of research and development of new materials and a design organization that, also through the use of mathematical models and digital models, allow the simulation of the behaviors of the products before they are still realized. The final qualification phase involves the validation of the product through experimental tests carried out both within its own laboratories and at international laboratories.

 

Polycarbonate: the new paradigm of transparencies in the aviation sector and beyond

The introduction of polycarbonate and state-of-the-art surface treatments is revolutionizing innovation in industry. This lightweight and flexible material offers significant advantages over glass: it is lighter, more sustainable and offers greater freedom in the forms that can be made. For ISOCLIMA it is the preferred material to develop optimal solutions for a cutting-edge technological sector such as the emerging EVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) vertical landing and take-off electric vehicles that aim to revolutionize urban transport and mobility from 2030. Through an approach driven to the adoption of cross technology, or transfer of technologies from one sector to another (for example from aeronautics to the automotive and vice versa) ISOCLIMA is able to be extremely responsive to the new needs of customers and the market, offering the latest technologies and materials developed globally.

 Leonardo and Isoclima, the result of research and avant-garde collaboration

Since we started our partnership with Leonardo in 2013, the journey with the customer has been a journey of innovation and overcoming unique challenges. The first project together, focused on the windshields for the AW169 helicopter, required to achieve unprecedented optical characteristics, along with a strict qualification to bird-strike. By addressing complications due to accentuated double curvatures, we have ensured the lightest "bird-strike-proof" windshield in the market. Subsequently, our collaboration extended to military projects such as the AW159, where we implemented electromagnetic protection solutions ensuring improved durability while respecting very stringent weight constraints. The product range is further expanding by embracing the AW249 project, the new combat helicopter in development for the Italian army. With volumes of orders growing, approaching 60 kits/year in 2023 for the AW169, our relationship with Leonardo promises to be profitable and lasting. Leonardo’s choice to continue to contact Isoclima is motivated by:

- by our ability to offer cutting-edge technological products that offer superior optical features and minimal weights

- by our commitment to providing timely and continuous support

- by our constant dedication to minimizing non-conformities.


In this way, we consolidate our position as a reliable and innovative partner for the aviation industry.

A look to the future

 

Leonardo and Isoclima, the result of research and avant-garde collaboration

 

ISOCLIMA is looking to the future business of EVTOL. At the moment, cutting-edge materials and technologies are being developed that will equip these innovative aircraft of the future. In particular, ISOCLIMA is developing cutting-edge materials and solutions for:

 

-   Reduce solar load and thus electrical consumption for air conditioning system;

 

-   Realize transparent demisting and heating systems on monolithic plastic windscreens;

 

-   To realize glasses with variable control of the light transmission to integrate in the passenger cabins.