Manned Aviation

Lightweight bladders for fixed wing aircraft, rotor craft and lighter than air vehicles

ATL proudly manufactures fuel bladder tanks for a wide variety of aircraft such as fixed wing, rotorcraft and lighter than air vehicles

These tough, lightweight and flexible bladder tanks resist motor gasoline, diesel, avgas and JP fuels (including JP-10 and JP-TS). Other bladders are available for hydrogen, propane and alcohol fuels. ATL’s fuel cell installations can be designed as vent-less collapsing diaphragms or as vented non-collapsing liners.

ATL can offer any level of support, from the basic design and manufacture of flexible fuel bladders, through to support with airframe integration and testing and qualification stages for air frame certification.

Flexible bladder materials from ATL range from an ultra-lightweight yet strong 0.25mm thickness to super strong, and yet still light, “crashworthy” materials. These materials meet and exceed the necessary strengths required to pass the stringent European Aviation Safety Agencies (EASA) ETSO (European Technical Standard Order) standards and various EASA Certification Specification (CS) regulations. ATL has already supplied products for a number of projects to these standards.

ATL Aviation projects include the Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) Airlander, built in conjunction with Northrup Grumman. The lighter-than-air (LTA) vehicle project was unfortunately cancelled by the U.S. Military as a result of U.S budget cuts, but has since been resurrected and thanks to new investment, including a significant amount sourced by crowd-funding, HAV have bought back the project and have recommissioned the Airlander. With the support of ATL the Airlander has taken to the skies again, conducting flight trials across Bedfordshire from the HAV base at Cardington Hangars. For a vehicle such as the Airlander, there simply is no substitute for an ultra-lightweight ATL bladder.

One of ATL’s long term projects working towards its EASA flight approval is the Marenco Swisshelicopter SKYeSH09. The new, Swiss made lightweight multi-purpose single engine helicopter utilises a number of technologies designed to increase the performance of the vehicle, including lightweight crashworthy ATL fuel bladders. Working closely with Marenco Swisshelicopter, ATL has developed a new material which has passed all qualification tests for ETSO C-80. This material is available to new customers looking to add lightweight and super strong flexible Fuel Bladder technology to their aircraft.

Further examples of ATL’s aviation projects include remaking wing bladders for Super Marine Seafires and B25 bombers, plus the design and manufacture of flexible fuel bladders for a range of new and exciting flying cars to name but a few. The versatility of the technology means no project is out of bounds, nor is any project too large or too small.


ATL’s lightweight bladder & fuel system technology inevitably leads to an increase in performance, no matter what the application. This has driven demand in new and exciting industries for ATL. It was recognised that manned aviation applications could greatly benefit from the weight savings, performance gains and increased safety that an ATL bladder provides.

To cater for such application, ATL commenced the design & development of a new material known as ATL 910-B. This impressive material uses the same core technology as the world-beating materials used in Formula One, but has been tailored to meet the rigorous standards of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for Flexible Fuel and Oil Cell Materials.

Following a development and test period, ATL are pleased to confirm that all tests for the ETSO C-80 - Flexible Fuel and Oil Cell Material standard and Rotorcraft specific CS-27 puncture strength requirements have been passed and the material is now ready to be qualified by manufacturers at airframe level.

As with all ATL materials, ATL 910-B can be used to create complex shapes suitable for the most demanding applications, and the full range of ATL technology can be employed.