Collins Aerospace has formed a United Kingdom (UK)-based collaboration to help deliver complex-shaped composite components for the next generation of aircraft with a focus on system simplification, weight reduction and cost competitiveness. These improvements can help drive down the overall cost of manufacturing while increasing the competitiveness of the UK’s aerospace industry as it supports global green initiatives leading to weight reduction and lower carbon emissions.
The four collaborative partners – Collins, Composite Integration, Crompton Mouldings and Bitrez – have been awarded a four-year, $3.6 million grant to develop Next Generation Complex Composite Components (NGC3) in alignment with the UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute’s (ATI) innovation strategy: Accelerating Ambition.
The team will develop integrated composite component technology for future commercial aircraft that will feature composite wings rather than metallic. Composite aircraft will require new complex fuel pipes, flexible integrated transmission shafts and braided pressure vessels featuring technological innovations in tailored resin systems, advanced braiding and Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM).
“Not only are new technologies needed to support next-gen aircraft, but also new processes that enable high-volume manufacturing using increased levels of automation,” said Ed Dryden, vice president of Actuation Systems for Collins Aerospace. “We appreciate ATI’s support as we pursue these new technologies.” Collins’ work will be conducted at its Actuation Systems facility in Banbury, UK, via new braider and RTM equipment.