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By joining the National Composites Centre (NCC), GE says it is positioning two of its GE Aviation businesses for a key role in this industry and academia cooperation.
This enables GE Aviation to assume a lead role for its Aerostructures and Dowty Propellers units and to work with other dynamic companies and academic institutes in developing new technologies for the design and manufacture of high-quality composite products.
GE states its activities in the UK employ 18,000 staff, of which 75 percent are working in industrial and manufacturing roles. These in-country businesses – including GE Aviation’s Dowty Propellers and Aerostructures – cover multiple sectors that include oil and gas and healthcare, along with energy.
For GE Aviation’s Aerostructures unit, it says NCC membership offers the opportunity to reinforce its position as a Tier One partner of choice for future aircraft programmes, building on proven design and manufacturing expertise with such airframe components as wing leading and trailing edge assemblies, flight control surfaces, empennage components, fairings, nacelles and mission systems.
“Working with the NCC’s members will offer significant access to cutting-edge capabilities and expertise, preparing us for the next generation of commercial and military aircraft,” explained Simon Randell, product leader for Aerostructures at GE Aviation.
GE’s Dowty Propellers unit will actively work with the NCC on further enhancing its composite technologies for next-generation blades on turboprop engines and other aviation propulsion systems. This will assist the company in pursuing the markets for evolved regional turboprop airliners, and turboprop-powered military airlifters, as well as for such advanced aircraft engines as open-rotor power plants.
“Developing blade systems which improve aircraft performance, efficiency and passenger comfort is at the heart of our research strategy, and we look forward to benefiting from the collaboration with the NCC,” said Oliver Towers, president of Dowty Propellers at GE Aviation.
Located in Bristol, the NCC serves as the UK’s centre of excellence for composite materials and manufacturing technology development. Its mission is to function as an independent, open-access national resource in delivering world-class innovation in the development and production of composites to facilitate their widespread industrial application.
“It is right to recognize that GE had a significant role in the original definition of the NCC so we are delighted to welcome them as a new Tier One member,” added NCC Chief Executive Peter Chivers. “We look forward to the opportunity of working with GE on developing their future composite products and processes, whether that is for wing components and propeller blades for their aviation business or other items across their other diverse businesses in oil & gas, medical, transportation or renewable energy sectors.”
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