KC-390

PPG Industries has been awarded a contract to design windshields for Embraer Defense and Security’s new KC-390 military transport aircraft.

Under the terms of contract, the company will design and manufacture production and spare windshields, side cockpit windows, as well as fuselage windows for the aircraft.

PPG military transparencies global director Connie Poulsen said: "PPG has a history of delivering complex technical solutions on time to Embraer, and that history was instrumental in Embraer’s decision-making process for the KC-390.

"Our technical design capabilities and glass-bending expertise are critical to achieving the vision Embraer has for the KC-390 aircraft."

Manufactured at PPG’s Huntsville, Alabama facility, the heated glass windshields are claimed to be the industry’s first to have a compound bent shape affording ballistics resistance and night-vision capabilities.

The windshields are expected to measure about 11ft² to offer expansive viewing to KC-390 pilots.

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Also built at Alabama facility, the No 2 and No 3 glass-side cockpit windows will also address requirements for ballistics resistance and night-vision compatibility.

"Our technical design capabilities and glass-bending expertise are critical to achieving the vision Embraer has for the KC-390 aircraft."

The fuselage windows are being designed of stretched acrylic, and are scheduled to be manufactured at the company’s facility in Sylmar, California, US.

PPG has already handed over first articles to Embraer, while delivery schedule of remaining articles remain undisclosed.

Jointly developed by Embraer and the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), the KC-390 is designed to perform cargo and troop transport, troop and cargo air delivery, aerial refuelling, search-and-rescue, and combating forest fires, among other missions.

Embraer is currently manufacturing 28 KC-390 aircraft under a BRL7.2bn ($3.25bn) contract awarded by FAB in May this year, with deliveries planned to commence in 2016.

In addition to FAB’s lot, around 32 medium-lift aircraft are also expected to be purchased by other militaries worldwide.


Image: Embraer recently unveiled the first KC-390 prototype at its facility in Gaviao Peixoto, Brazil. Photo: courtesy of Brazilian Air Force.

Defence Technology