As the transportation industry works hard to move toward sustainability in manufacturing, a partnership between an innovator in boat building and a world leader in aviation is taking things in a new direction.
Skipper Armel Tripon and the Airbus Technocentre of Nantes, France are collaborating to develop a new IMOCA boat built from declassified carbon fiber and other composite materials. Knowing that he wanted his next boat to be developed in a more sustainable fashion, Mr. Tripon approached the Airbus Technocentre team based on their extensive use of lightweight, strong, and durable composite materials, qualities also needed in the marine industry, and their commitment to reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
The reclaiming and reuse of declassified composite elements from the carbon fiber which Airbus Technocentre disposes of for the construction the new IMOCA will be studied and tested to meet stringent regulations of the IMOCA class.
François Paynot, director of Airbus Nantes, said of the project, “The Airbus Technocentre is particularly content and proud, from a sporting and industrial point of view, to support Armel Tripon in this ambitious new project. This is a great occasion for Airbus to value our composites and expertise.”
Antoine Mermod, President Classe IMOCA, added, “Armel Tripon is one the most innovative skippers of the IMOCA class and Airbus is a global, technological benchmark. Reducing carbon footprints in our projects is a priority for the coming years. This partnership is a major step to initiate this movement.”
“Isn’t it up to us, skippers, to initiate a collective realization and presently become an actor of change? I am committed to leading by example with an innovative project that will attempt to initiate alternatives in terms of nautical construction in order to, in time, master and reduce our carbon footprint. Here we define the sailing of tomorrow, ambitious, responsible, and collaborative,” said Armel Tripon, skipper. “It is up to all of us, now, to convince companies to join us in this human challenge!”
Plans are for the boat to be introduced in 2023, potentially creating new opportunities for Airbus and others to recover composite materials to be reused and repurposed for nautical projects.