GKN Aerospace joins ‘Clean Sky’ joint technology initiative

GKN Aerospace joins ‘Clean Sky’ joint technology initiative

5-Oct-2010 Source: GKN Aerospace

GKN Aerospace is participating in two key elements of the ‘Clean Sky’ Joint Technology Initiative (JTI). Clean Sky is one of the largest European Union/Industry research projects ever undertaken (1.6 B 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% fuel savings, making this a key technology to meet critical ACARE emissions targets. GKN Aerospace 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 comments: “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 ACARE 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.”

GKN plc is a global engineering business serving the automotive, aerospace and land systems markets. It has operations in more than 30 countries, around 38,000 employees in subsidiaries and joint ventures and sales of GBP4.5 billion in the year to 31 December 2009. GKN plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: GKN).

About GKN Aerospace
GKN Aerospace is the aerospace operation of GKN plc, serving a global customer base and operating in North and South America, Australia, the Asia Pacific and Europe. With sales of GBP1.5bn, the business is focused around three major product areas – aerostructures, propulsion systems and transparencies, plus a number of specialist products – electro-thermal ice protection, fuel and flotation systems, and bullet resistant glass. The business is equally split along military and civil lines with significant participation on all major aircraft programmes today. GKN Aerospace is a major supplier of complex composite structures; offers one of the most comprehensive capabilities in high performance metallics processing and is the world leading supplier of cockpit transparencies and passenger cabin windows.

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