Alcoa Achieves Aerospace Metallics Breakthrough: Can Reduce Weight and Cost of Aerospace Metallics by 20%

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 7, 2005--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today that its program launched in 2002 to reduce the cost and weight of advanced aerospace metallics by 20% is significantly ahead of schedule as a result of extensive research and development achievements, helping to redefine the performance potential of metallic aerospace structures. These breakthrough innovations have been realized through the integration of advanced aluminum alloys, hybrid structural materials, innovative design concepts, novel manufacturing and assembly techniques, as well as close collaboration with customers. Today's announcement was made at the 16th AeroMat Advanced Aerospace Materials & Processes Conference and Exposition in Orlando, Fla., the leading technical symposium that focuses exclusively on process development and advanced aerospace materials, structures and propulsion systems. "There is a metamorphosis happening within Alcoa Aerospace today," said Jens Hinrichsen, director, Aerospace Produce Strategy and Development. "It has been brought on certainly by the competitive realities of the advanced materials industry. But it has been equally sponsored by two other very important forces - the broadening of Alcoa's aerospace product portfolio and the advancements registered by our technical community over the past decade. Alcoa is broader solutions-wide and deeper technically than we have ever been." Alcoa Aerospace first introduced its new vision for aerospace metallics in 2002 and committed with major customers to a strategic, long-term initiative that will help customers design, engineer and manufacture aircraft that meet and exceed all performance requirements. That program, called the Alcoa Aerospace 20/20 Initiative, sought to reduce the weight and cost of advanced aerospace metallics by at least 20% over two decades. "We have proven the concepts of 20/20 can be implemented in incremental steps. In fact, some of the building blocks on this initiative are being used today on the Airbus A380, but over the next 3-4 years all of the steps can be deployed on the next generation of aircraft and we will be working with customers to do so. Based on what we have achieved so far, I am convinced these cost and weight targets, when combined with other areas where we can add value for customers, may be conservative," Hinrichsen said in his address to industry executives, government officials and academics. "From my perspective, based on nearly 30 years of aerospace experience, we have adopted a strategy that is completely practical, technically creative, and commercially and solution focused. It is focusing on helping original equipment manufacturers meet airline demands for fuel burn, payload and range, weight, repair and maintenance, and affordability." Hinrichsen's speech, "Alcoa Aerospace - Optimized Solutions Meeting Mission Requirements," addresses Alcoa Aerospace's rapid evolution from the role of a materials supplier to a solutions provider. His comments can be found at Jens Hinrichsen Biography Jens Hinrichsen is director of Aerospace Product Strategy and Development at Alcoa. He has an extensive background in the aerospace industry in the areas of structural design, requirements, concepts, principles and materials used in the manufacture of aircraft. During the last 27 years, he has held several leadership positions on numerous aircraft programs at Airbus. These have ranged from structural dynamics in the Airbus A310, A320, A330, and A340 programs to responsibility for the definition of structural technologies and design concepts for the A380 aircraft. Prior to joining Airbus, he spent seven years in a variety of civil engineering positions. In his last appointment at Airbus, he was director of the A380 program where he delivered the A380 Vertical Tailplane prototype. Mr. Hinrichsen holds an engineering degree from the Hannover Technical University in Germany, with specializations in structural engineering, fluids and structural dynamics. About Alcoa Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 131,000 employees in 43 countries and has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for 45 years and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since 2001. More information can be found at Contacts Alcoa Investor Contact William F. Oplinger, 212-836-2674 or Media Contact Kevin G. Lowery, 412-553-1424 Mobile 724-422-7844

Source: Alcoa
Date: Jun 7, 2005