Arcadia Aerospace Industries LLC (AAI, Punta Gorda, Fla., USA) has announced the signing of a long-term partnership agreement with GKN Aerospace (Tallassee, Ala., USA) to provide nondestructive inspection (NDI) of large composite airframe components.
In support of this effort, Arcadia Aerospace is developing a new facility strategically located in proximity to GKN Aerospace in Tallassee, Ala., less than three hours from the new Airbus Final Assembly Line in the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley in Mobile, Ala. Once completed, the facility will be Nadcap accredited for NDI, in addition to being a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved repair facility servicing metal and composite manufacturers. The new facility, scheduled to be production-ready by mid-2014, will be the inspection rate-readiness site for new composites-intensive programs.
The new facility will house the nation's largest, multiple technology, automated robotic inspection system. The system, designed and fabricated by Arcadia’s engineering team, offers the ability to provide internal defect and external dimensional inspections of components to 90 ft/27.4m in length and 14 ft/4.3m in width. Delivering a total of 19-axes of motion working in high-speed synchronization, the system provides conventional ultrasonic, linear array, thermographic and digital x-ray inspection technologies for the detection of internal defects. In addition, the new facility will house AAI's next generation of automated overhead gantry inspection systems capable of handling round product morethan 14 ft/4.3m in diameter.
AAI and GKN Aerospace have worked closely together across several aircraft programs for the last five years. Charles Bushman, president and founder of Arcadia Aerospace, says, “The partnership with GKN strengthens our commitment to the aerospace industry to provide value-added solutions to the increasingly more complex structures emerging. Together, we have unique synergies to provide the industry with unparalleled composite expertise in large structures fabrication and inspection.”
Additionally, the two companies have been preparing for the design and implementation of a Center for Composites Manufacturing Excellence located just outside Montgomery, Ala.