GKN to lead £30m wing technology project

A national research programme – aimed at bringing the latest aircraft wing design, manufacture and assembly technologies to market – is being launched by GKN Aerospace.

The £30million programme involves 13 partners, including Bombardier, Spirit, GE Aviation, the National Composites Centre, the Manufacturing Technology Centre and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Taking place over a 27-month period, it will produce test demonstrators to validate the maturity of key manufacturing technologies for aircraft wings.

Specifically, the VIEWS (Validation and Integration of Manufacturing Enablers for Future Wing Structures) programme will:
• Identify and define future manufacturing requirements to produce novel wing architectures
• Assess tools that will improve product and process design and enhance the flow of production
• Progress emerging composite and metallic manufacturing and assembly technologies and processes
• Study innovative inspection and repair tools. In the final stages, the partner companies will produce test demonstrators to validate the maturity of key technologies

The project also involves five of the UK's manufacturing catapult centres and is backed by the UK's Aerospace Technology Institute.

Rich Oldfield, GKN's technical director, said: "Through the institute the aerospace sector is able to work together effectively to develop promising technologies and processes that will help us maintain our position as the strongest national aerospace industry outside the USA."

Laura Hopperton

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