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HITCO Delivers A380 Carbon Composite Tail Structure

Parts form skeleton of vertical stabilizer


LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ - HITCO Carbon Composites, Inc. (HITCO), an affiliate of SGL Carbon Group (NYSE:SGG), today celebrated the delivery of the first operational ship set of the carbon fiber tail structure parts for the vertical tail plane of the Airbus A380. Ceremonies were held at HITCO Carbon Composites' Gardena, California facility.

On hand for the ceremony was Allan McArtor, Chairman of Airbus North America who accepted the structure on Airbus' behalf. The component is a large carbon fiber composite structure that forms the skeleton of the vertical stabilizer on the aircraft's tail assembly.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters addressed the gathering of government officials, civic dignitaries and other guests participating in the Airbus program. The Gardena High School Marching Band performed for the assembly.

"HITCO is very pleased to be a part of the A380 program," said Paul Pendorf, HITCO President. "This flagship of the Airbus family of aircraft will significantly contribute towards revolutionizing air travel in the 21st century. We look forward to the success of this technologically advanced aircraft as it reaches around the globe carrying passengers at an unprecedented level of comfort, economy and environmental consciousness. We hope to establish a long relationship with Airbus as a reliable supplier of choice."

"Composite elements like those from HITCO are among the keys to making the A380 state-of-the-art from a technological perspective," said McArtor. "Composites save weight, saving weight saves fuel, and saving fuel is better for the environment and for our customers' bottom lines. I continue to be heartened by the level of quality we secure with supplier contracts here in the U.S. with companies like HITCO."

HITCO Carbon Composites, Inc. manufactures advanced composite materials for defense, aerospace and industrial applications. Products range from solid rocket motor nozzles assemblies, aircraft assemblies, wet and dry friction applications such as military aircraft and automobile racing carbon-carbon brakes, automotive torque control assemblies and transmissions, to materials for industrial insulation for the aluminum and steel industries, chemical process industries and petroleum plants among others. Founded in 1922, HITCO continues to be an innovative leader in the advancement of carbon composite technologies. The SGL Carbon Group, headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany is the world's largest producer of carbon and graphite products with approximately 7200 employees. Annual sales in 2002 amounted to 1.1 billion Euros. The Company's business is focused on four areas: Carbon and Graphite (CG), Graphite Specialties (GS), Corrosion Protection (CP), and SGL Technologies (SGL T) which comprises the growth businesses of the company. Divisions of SGL Technologies manufacture products such as high-performance carbon-ceramic brake discs and fuel cell components. HITCO Carbon Composites, Inc. is also part of SGL Technologies and manufactures composite structures, high-temperature materials and thermal insulation.

Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS. Airbus spends some 40 percent of its procurement budget with hundreds of suppliers in more than 40 U.S. states. In 2002 alone, Airbus spent $5.5 billion in U.S. contracts -- more than it spent in any other country. Using U.S. Department of Commerce figures, that dollar amount translates into Airbus support of 120,000 American jobs.

Source: HITCO Carbon Composites, Inc.; Airbus North America

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