Sikorsky subcontractor Aero Vodochody opens new composite shop

Sikorsky subcontractor Aero Vodochody opens new composite shop 3 May, 12, Source: Aero Vodochody

The investment for more than 100 million will bring new production capacity.

AERO Vodochody, the Czech largest aircraft manufacturer opened new shop for components made of composite materials. The company believes the new and bigger workplace will bring new production capacity and attract new customers. The competitiveness of Aero will be also improved by extension of manufacturing capabilities and knowledge of working with composite materials.

The biggest aviation composite shop in the Czech Republic required investment of 105 million CZK. The investment was supported by the European Union. “Building of this workshop is a milestone in development of AERO Vodochody,” pointed Ladislav Šimek, president of the company. “Our partners watched this investment very carefully, because today an aircraft manufacturer can neither successfully operate nor obtain new commissions without modern composite manufacturing.”

The investment group Penta, 100% owner of Aero, does not hide its satisfaction as well. „We will not stop investing in Aero, because Penta sees a big potential in aviation industry. We believe Aero can play an even greater role in global aviation industry,” promised Marek Dospiva of Penta group.

Aero has more than twenty years of experience with processing composite materials. There has been only one composite shop in AERO Vodochody until now, but Aero is moving production out of its subsidiary company, Rotortech Aero Composites based in the Great Britain, so it needed to extend its production capacities. The production will cover mainly needs of existing projects of Aero. “The workshop is built primarily for satisfaction of our current customers but if we have some spare capacities, we will be able to satisfy also third party’s requests,” said Šimek.

“We use the best available technologies. Our autoclave is the most modern in the country and all the procedures comply with stringent international standards,” said project manager Pavel Kocour. In the hall of 5400 square metres is located autoclave of 9×3,7 metres, clean room of 500 square metres and curing oven.

In the newly reconstructed hall, eighty to one hundred employees can work in full operation. “We moved some of the employees from another production, we hired others. They have been trained since October, so they can start working as soon as the workshop is ready,” added Kocour. The first products will be delivered in following days; full series production should start in the second half of this year.

AERO Vodochody manufactures aircraft and aircraft components since 1919. For most of its history Aero focused on production of training aircraft, since 2000 it began to focus more on international cooperation programmes. The main partners of AERO Vodochody are Sikorsky Aircraft, Embraer, SONACA or Czech army. Since 2007, Aero is owned by Penta investment group.

Aero obtained the contract for manufacturing all cabin doors, cargo ramp, rear fuselage and manufacturing and development of fixed leading edge for military transport aircraft KC-390 of Brazilian company Embraer. It also delivered the first cockpits for legendary helicopter Black Hawk. In June, Aero cofounded the Confederation of the Czech Aviation Industry to improve competitiveness of the Czech aviation industry and attract new businesses.

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