GKN Aerospace joins clean aviation initiative
GKN Aerospace is taking part in two key elements of the European 'Clean Sky' Joint Technology Initiative (JTI).
Clean Sky is one of the largest European Union-industry research projects ever undertaken (1.6bn Euro) and focuses on developing breakthrough technologies that will significantly reduce the impact of aviation on the environment.
GKN Aerospace is working with Airbus on the SMART Fixed-Wing Integrated Technology Demonstrator (ITD), developing concepts for the leading edge region of a Natural Laminar Flow (NLF) wing. A fully laminar flow wing has the potential to provide 3-4 per cent fuel savings, making this a key technology to meet critical emissions targets.
The company is providing advanced mechanical, bonding, post assembly finishing and coating solutions for the leading edge of the NLF wing. Phase one runs through 2010 and leads to installation in a ground technology demonstrator in mid 2011. The programme as a whole is scheduled to complete in 2014.
Separately, GKN Aerospace is involved with Airbus in the Systems for Green Operation ITD, developing a new carbon-fibre ram air scoop with a structure that incorporates both ice protection and acoustic abatement and remains low in weight.
This work package includes the design, development and construction of an icing tunnel test demonstrator as well as providing a test unit for integration trials with the environmental control system. This system development is aimed at reducing noise pollution, improving aircraft performance through electrical ice protection and contributing to meeting new and challenging aircraft weight targets. Design and build will be completed by Jan 2011 and testing by mid 2011.
Marcus Bryson, chief executive officer, GKN Aerospace commented: "Clean Sky is a critical enabler for the aerospace sector, helping develop breakthrough technologies that will improve aircraft performance as we strive to meet rigorous noise and emissions targets. We are committed to the goals of this initiative and in the coming three years we aim to grow our involvement wherever we can make an effective contribution."