Toray selected by Overair to provide materials for its Butterfly eVTOL

July 12, 2022
Toray's carbon fiber and resin system will be part of Overair's all-electric aircraft expected to take flight in 2023.

TACOMA, Wash., - Overair, Inc. in Santa Ana, Calif. needed a provider of advanced materials for its Butterfly electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle. They found their solution from Toray Composite Materials America, Inc., in Morgan Hill, Calif. Toray, a manufacturer of advanced carbon fiber and composite pre-impregnated (prepreg) materials, announced a strategic collaboration on utilization of the company's prepreg system in Overair's Butterfly prototype program. The Butterfly is a low-noise eVTOL aircraft which aims to provide sustainable aerial ridesharing in densely populated cities where traffic is a problem.

The Butterfly prototype aircraft utilizes Toray's T1100/3960 prepreg system, a material that is formulated for high-performance aerospace applications where the  ratio of strength to modulus properties is critical. Toray's 3960 is a toughened 350°F/177°C cure epoxy resin with a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 400°F/204°C. It is optimized for increased performance and allows for autoclave and out-of-autoclave curing. The resin is synergistic with the TORAYCA T1100 next-generation intermediate modulus plus (IM+) carbon fiber, which is the highest tensile strength fiber available today. The T1100/3960 unidirectional and plain weave prepreg is utilized in the Butterfly's airframe structure and propulsion units.

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. Butterfly's propeller will be showcased at the Farnborough International Air Show from July 18 to July 22 in Farnborough, England.

"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," according to Jeff Cross, Director of Business Development for Aerospace at Toray. "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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