Overair’s Butterfly prototype uses Toray T1100/3960 carbon fiber/epoxy prepreg, a material system that provides high stiffness and strength in the airframe structure and propulsion units. (Photo courtesy Overair/TCMA/PRNewswire)

Overair selected Toray’s advanced prepreg system for its combination of high stiffness, strength, and optimal weight

July 7, 2022

TACOMA, Wash.—An advanced prepreg material system formulated by Toray Composite Materials America, Inc. (TCMA), has been selected for use in the prototype program of Overair, Inc.’s  Butterfly electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, the companies said in a release.

The Butterfly prototype aircraft is a low-noise, zero-emission eVTOL aircraft designed to  provide sustainable, aerial ridesharing in densely populated cities where traffic is a problem. Expected to take flight in 2023, the aircraft uses Toray’s T1100/3960 prepreg system in its airframe structure and propulsion units. The material is formulated for high-performance aerospace applications where the optimal ratio of strength to modulus properties is critical, according to the release.

Toray described its 3960 resin as a highly-toughened 350°F/177°C cure epoxy resin with a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 400°F/204°C. The resin is said to allow for autoclave and out-of-autoclave curing and is synergistic with Toray’s high-tensile strength, TORAYCA™ T1100 next-generation intermediate modulus plus (IM+) carbon fiber. The T1100/3960 material system is a unidirectional and plain weave prepreg.

“We’re excited to be working closely with Toray’s advanced materials as we continue the development of our all-electric Butterfly experimental prototype aircraft,” said Ben Tigner, co-founder and CEO at Overair, in the release. “Our unique propulsion system requires materials that provide a unique combination of high stiffness and high strength, while also maintaining the optimal weight targets for the vehicle.”

Overair recently completed full-scale testing of Butterfly’s propulsion system. The successful testing program validated Overair’s design choices and Butterfly’s expected performance capabilities, the companies said in the release.

“It is an honor for Toray to partner with Overair on this endeavor and provide the Butterfly a unique performance advantage with our 3960 prepreg system,” said Toray Composite Materials America Director of Business Development for Aerospace Jeff Cross, in the release. “We’re excited for the future as Overair proceeds with full-scale development and testing. The proven performance of our materials gives me confidence that we can help achieve Overair’s objective of producing the safest, most efficient, and reliable eVTOL aircraft.”

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