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French DGA Engineer Developed the Innovative "FLIGHTEX" Non Skid Flight Deck Coating

Naval Technology - France
French DGA Engineer Developed the Innovative "FLIGHTEX" Non Skid Flight Deck Coating
During the "Forum DGA Innovation", a symposium organized by DGA (the French defence procurement agency) focusing on defence innovation, a DGA engineer was showcasing its innovative FLIGHTEX non skid flight deck coating. Flight deck coatings are essential to ensure carrier operations at sea (launch, recovery and movement of aircraft on the deck). They require high performances and unique properties because of the mechanical and chemical stress they endure: Abrasion from aircraft tires, intense deterioration from the friction of the arresting wires, oil and fuel drops...

The engineer explained to Navy Recognition that FLIGHTEX is the new generation coating designed to answer these unique requirements.
FLIGHTEX flight deck coating DGA 1 Flight decks are subject to intense mechanical and chemical stress. DGA picture.
FLIGHTEX uses nanotechnology to achieve its performance: "It is composed of a triple internal network of millimeter, micrometric and nanometric fibers (kevlar + carbon nanotubes) incorporated in a high-performance two-component polyurethane matrix"

Recently tested in a DGA laboratory, FLIGHTEX demonstrated excellent impact resistance, abrasion, chemical resistance. "We tested FLIGHTEX against eight other products including the coatings currently used by the US Navy, the Royal Navy and the existing coating of the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle which dates back from the Clemenceau-class carriers: FLIGHTEX achieved better results and was selected to be applied on Charles de Gaulle sometime in the future" according to the engineer.
FLIGHTEX flight deck coating DGA 2 FLIGHTEX ANG 240 for aircraft carrier flight decks (with arresting wires)
Other advantages of FLIGTHEX: It is easy to apply (a single layer is enough as opposed to two layers previously), it is non toxic and may be applied in confined areas (such as hangars).

During the next refit of Charles de Gaulle (which is set for the first half of 2017 and should last a year and a half), FLIGHTEX will be applied in some specific areas (such as the landing area, where the arresting wires are, and the elevators) for full-scale experimentation.

FLIGHTEX comes in two variants: ANG 240 for aircraft carrier flight decks (with arresting wires) and ANG 250 for all other areas (aircraft spots, hangar, elevators as well as decks for LHDs and other vessels helicopter decks).

The DGA engineer concluded by explaining: "Advantages of FLIGHTEX are many:
- a better and more durable protection of the flight deck
- reduced ownership and maintenance costs (an 8 to 17 million Euros saving for an aircraft carrier)
- safer and environment-friendly product
- easier to apply and produce
- easier to decontaminate (NRBC)"

FLIGHTEX flight deck coating DGA 3 FLIGHTEX ANG 250 for aircraft spots, hangar, elevators...