GKN Delivers Demonstrator Tool for the Airbus ‘Wing of Tomorrow’ Programme

GKN Aerospace has reached a major milestone in the ‘Wing of Tomorrow’ programme after delivering a mid-scale demonstrator tool to the GKN Aerospace Filton facility.

The tool will provide a fully functioning automated low-pressure RTM system for the Airbus-led programme’s composite wing spar. The spar is one of the most important parts of the wing and is considered one of the most challenging to design and manufacture.

We are proud to be a partner of Airbus in the ‘Wing of Tomorrow’ research programme and excited about the delivery of the mid-size demonstrator tool. Combined with the Aerospace Technology Institute, which is providing vital support for the UK’s position on the next generation of aircraft, we will be able to deliver breakthroughs in technology as well as benchmark levels of price, quality and repeatability.” John Pritchard, GKN Aerospace’s CEO for Aerostructures and Systems Europe and Asia

The 4-metre development testbed will significantly improve the productivity of the composite manufacturing process, by removing one-third of the production steps involved. The technology will be moving from a traditional, pre-impregnated resin material to dry composite fibres that are injected with resin as part of the initial manufacturing process for the wing spar resulting in significant weight savings.

GKN Aerospace is using its capability in design and manufacture of composite Wing Spars and assembly of Fixed Trailing Edges to mature the key technologies with further development work expecting to stretch into 2021.