GKN Aerospace manufactures first demonstrator parts for Wing of Tomorrow program
GKN Aerospace (St. Louis, Mo., U.S.) announced at the Paris Air show that it has manufactured the first demonstrator wing components for Airbus’ “Wing of tomorrow” research program. The parts are samples of a section of the wing spar. GKN Aerospace says its wing technology will significantly improve the productivity of the composites manufacturing process, and that the use of composite components can result in up to 20% weight savings on large commercial aircraft.
GKN Aerospace says it is using its experience in manufacturing wing trailing edges and in using advanced composites technology to accelerate the development of new composite assembly automation technologies for wing primary structures.
The company already manufactures composite wing components for Airbus, including the A380’s fixed trailing edge, and the wing leading edges for A380, A330 and A400M. For the A350 XWB, GKN Aerospace developed and now supplies the 27-meter-long rear wing spar and the inboard and outboard flaps (including skins, spars, ribs and leading edges).
“The manufacturing of the first composite demonstrators under the WoT program is a true milestone,” says John Pritchard, CEO for GKN Aerospace aerostructures and systems, Europe and Asia. “We are proud to be a partner of Airbus in the WoT research program. The demand for lighter, stronger and low-maintenance composite wing structures seamlessly fit our sustainability goals. The Aerospace Technology Institute is providing vital support for the U.K.’s position on the next generation of aircraft.”
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