GKN produces prototype spars for A350 XWB
GKN Aerospace engineers in Germany and the U.K. have produced prototype carbon
fiber composite spars for Airbus' A350 XWB wing box demonstrator.
GKN Aerospace (East Cowes, Isle of Wight, U.K.) reported on Feb. 23 that engineers in Germany and the U.K. have produced prototype carbon fiber composite spars for Airbus' A350 XWB
wing box demonstrator. Composites development work is being done by GKN Aerospace teams in Munich and on the Isle of Wight and Filton in the U.K.; prototype assembly is being done in Yeovil, U.K. Series manufacture of the composite spars and the trailing edge assemblies will start within the next 12 months and will be done by GKN Aerospace’s Filton, U.K., facility, which was recently purchased from Airbus (Toulouse, France).
The A350 XWB, Airbus' newest twin-aisle aircraft, is expected to sport a structure of more than 50 percent composites by weight. The plane is expected to be delivered in 2013. GKN bought Airbus' Filton wing-manufacturing facility and is expected to use composites there to produce wing sets for the A350.
Frank Bamford, senior vice president, business development and strategy, GKN Aerospace, said, "The A350 XWB wing spar is a major new package of work for our new Filton team who are currently detailing the processes, securing the capital equipment and training our people to take on the advanced automated manufacturing processes required. Our A350 XWB work is running on schedule to highly focused timescales and we expect manufacturing activity to commence at Filton within 12 months."