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GKN Aerospace will be exhibiting an advanced winglet lower skin, produced as part of an advanced winglet development project within the Structures Technology Maturity programme (STeM), on the National Composite Centre stand at the Composites Engineering Show.
The advanced winglet project is part of a £12m STeM programme focused on developing an innovative winglet using fully automated manufacturing processes. GKN Aerospace leads this project, with Bombardier, Spirit and GE partnering. GKN Aerospace is also providing £1.8m in funding which is matched by TSB (Technology Strategy Board) support.
Winglets have become an established feature of wing design because they provide valuable benefits in increased aircraft rate of climb, reduced fuel burn and a reduced noise footprint. The project partners say the goal of this GKN Aerospace-led project has been to develop an innovative winglet design and simultaneously progress production processes that will decrease production times and improve end-product quality, consistency and repeatability.
Rich Oldfield, Technical Director, GKN Aerospace commented, “We face twin challenges to improve airframe performance and to achieve far higher aircraft production rates than have been achievable until now. We believe the combined focus of the STeM programme will bring benefits on both fronts – and having access to the resources of the NCC is allowing us to work alongside our partners to progress the technologies and processes that are critical to achieving our goals.”
Tom Hitchings Business Development Director at the NCC said, “Through the work being planned by GKN and other members of the NCC, we can help reduce full scale production costs, de-risk projects and accelerate components to market production. The NCC can aid any company wishing to scale up from prototype production to high volume manufacture by a number of ways from design simulation, innovative tooling and process optimisation.”
Visit stand D193 at the show.
Photo provided by GKN Aerospace.
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