The ultralight aircraft has now been awarded the 2016 Red Dot best of the best prize for product design.
The ultralight aircraft has now been awarded the 2016 Red Dot best of the best prize for product design.

Swedish aerospace developer and manufacturer Blackwing has developed a composite sport aircraft built using Diab’s Divinycell matrix materials.

The ultralight aircraft has now been awarded the 2016 Red Dot best of the best prize for product design.

The BlackWing is reportedly the first aircraft in its class capable of speeds up to 400 km/h with a cruise speed of 270 km/h. The wing design reduces interference drag with backswept tapered ‘winglets’ that improve short take offs and give a better climb rate.

An issue BlackWing encountered during production was that the company’s extremely thin carbon fiber laminate would easily be damaged if used with a traditional honeycomb composite core. The resulting surface would be less smooth, resulting in reduced performance. Diab’s Divinycell materials offered a way to create the perfect finish.

Working with Diab, BlackWing selected Divinycell Matrix 10-8 for the aircraft. Divinycell Matrix materials offer high mechanical properties at a low weight and can withstand wind speeds of up to 60 m/s, making them suitable for aerospace applications. Matrix 10-8 can also tolerate high temperatures, which was important for BlackWing’s prepreg process requirements.

The use of these composites with a high strength-to-weight ratio is what makes the BlackWing ‘ultralight.’

This story is reprinted from material from Diabwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.