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Issue 7

Aviation Manufacturer magazine

bae systems aviation innovation

BAE Systems is the UK’s major defence, aerospace and security company, and the country’s largest manufacturer. Involved in some of the biggest and most technically advanced engineering and manufacturing projects in the world, the company is recognised for its relentless pursuit of innovation.

Piloting Next-Gen Technologies for Complete Aircraft Design Solvay’s lightweight material solutions include carbon fiber, composites, polymer pellets, powders, films and foams for: • Maximized performance through innovative components’ design and function integration • Meeting industry ramp rates through high-volume automated processes • Reduced total cost of ownership


Electrical, Air and Fluid Systems

Interior Propulsion

the editor

Back to the saucer



Martin Ashcroft


hile I was writing the cover story on BAE Systems for this issue of the magazine, I had a vision of the future that took me right back to my youth. Not quite an epiphany, perhaps, but worth sharing, all the same. You heard it here first, folks – the flying saucer is about to make a comeback! People of a certain age may remember Dan Dare, the science fiction comic hero, or his US equivalent Buck Rodgers. As science fiction gained traction in popular culture, comic illustrators exercised their imaginations drawing fantastical flying machines, often in the shape of discs or saucers. It wasn’t ‘blue sky’ imagination, of course, because the term ‘flying saucer’ had existed since the 1930s after some famous ‘sightings’ of unidentified objects in the sky. The term gave way eventually to ‘unidentified flying object’ or UFO, as sightings of differently shaped objects began to be recorded. What it gains in accuracy, though, it loses in romance, I think. Popular culture has progressed through Star Trek, Star Wars and a host of other interstellar concepts, but I had long since forgotten about flying saucers until I saw a photo of MAGMA, a small scale unmanned aerial vehicle being developed by BAE Systems in partnership with The University of Manchester,

with whom it is exploring some unique flight control technology. Back in the day, we didn’t question how flying saucers were supposed to fly. How many ten year olds would have asked their dads how these craft could remain airborne when they had no adjustable surfaces; no wings, no tail and no flaps? Most of us simply accepted that they did, somehow, but there must have been a few who wanted to know, because those questions are now being answered in research laboratories and advanced manufacturing facilities in the UK and elsewhere. Two technologies are being trialled on the jet powered MAGMA. Wing circulation control takes air from the aircraft engine and blows it supersonically through the trailing edge of the wing, while fluidic thrust vectoring uses blown air to deflect the exhaust, allowing for the direction of the aircraft to be changed. The ultimate aim is to fly the aircraft without any moving control surfaces or fins. If successful, this would be the first use of circulation control in flight on a single engine gas turbine aircraft. The next time someone reports a sighting of a flying saucer, it may not be a hoax. MAGMA may not look like a perfect saucer yet – but it’s getting there.

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Cover story bae systems: aviation innovation Page 6 Page: 3

• The Editor: Back to the saucer


• BAE Systems: Aviation innovation


• News & Features


• First BelugaXL transporter rolls off assembly line


• Third H160 prototype sports new livery


• GE Aviation announces first test run of Advanced Turboprop engine


• Boeing and Adient to design and build aircraft seats • FAA certifies Dreamliner 787-10 for commercial service


• Spirit AeroSystems plans major expansion in Wichita • Praxair and GE Aviation open advanced jet engine coatings facility in Mississippi


• Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens team up for electric future


• Leonardo delivers first AW101 all-weather SAR helicopter for Norway • ST Aerospace to support Gulf Air’s new Boeing 787s

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airbus: up for the challenge page 46

contents 37

• Airbus sees out 2017 with record sales and milestone achievements


• Rolls-Royce obtains final approval for acquisition of ITP • Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services selected for new Airbus nacelle programme


• Boeing sets airplane delivery record in 2017 • EgyptAir chooses Pratt & Whitney engines for C Series aircraft order


• Emirates signs agreement for up to 36 additional A380s • Aleris secures new multiyear contract with Embraer


• Additive manufacturing: A revolution in component design


• Airbus: Up for the challenge


• Porcher Industries: Airbus Helicopters H-160: A new chapter in helicopter design


• UTC Aerospace systems: Accelerating innovation

news and features page 22

UTC aerospace systems: Accelerating innovation Page 68

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine


bae systems

aviation innovation

BAE Systems is the UK’s major defence, aerospace and security company, and the country’s largest manufacturer. Involved in some of the biggest and most technically advanced engineering and manufacturing projects in the world, the company is recognised for its relentless pursuit of innovation.

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine


BAE systems aviation innovation


n common with all the other ‘majors’ in the industry, BAE Systems is the result of a huge consolidation in aerospace and defence in recent times. Formed on 30 November 1999 by the merger of British Aerospace (BAe) and Marconi Electronic Systems, BAE Systems is the successor to some of the most famous British aircraft, defence electronics and warship manufacturers. Predecessors of BAE Systems built the Comet, the world’s first commercial jet airliner; the Harrier ‘jump jet’, the world’s first operational vertical/short take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft and co-produced the iconic Concorde supersonic airliner. In the aerospace sector the company is currently involved in the design, manufacture, upgrade and support of combat and trainer aircraft for customers around the world. It also supplies electronics equipment across a range of military and commercial aircraft and is helping to develop the next-generation of unmanned air systems. BAE Systems has world leading capabilities in prime contracting, systems integration, rapid engineering, manufacturing, maintenance, repair and upgrade, as well as military training for

advanced combat and trainer aircraft. It is a global operation, with a skilled workforce of over 80,000 people in 40 countries, but it purchases many of the goods and services it needs in the domestic market, supporting significant economic activity and employment across the UK. In 2016, BAE Systems spent £4 billion on inputs from some 8,900 suppliers in the UK, representing 79 per cent of its total procurement.

Eurofighter Typhoon

Major defence projects are rarely undertaken by a single entity (or even country) these days. As Europe’s largest collaborative defence programme, the Eurofighter Typhoon is an example of what can be achieved through a global partnership of allies, in this case Italy, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, through a consortium consisting of Leonardo, Airbus Defence and Space and BAE Systems. Each member has a production line for the assembly of its own national aircraft, but also specialises in the production of specific parts for the whole programme. Leonardo builds the left wing, outboard flaperons and rear fuselage sections, Premium AEROTEC builds the main centre fuselage, EADS CASA the right

wing and leading edge slats. BAE Systems takes responsibility for the front fuselage, canopy, dorsal spine, tail fin and inboard flaperons. Eurofighter Typhoon is an advanced multi-role combat aircraft. In service since 2003, more than 500 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft have since been delivered to seven countries: Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Oman and Saudi Arabia; and ordered by two more: Kuwait and Qatar. In December last year, BAE Systems and the Government of the State of Qatar entered into a £5 billion contract for the supply of 24 Typhoon aircraft to the Qatar Emiri Air Force, along with a bespoke support and training package. Delivery is expected to commence in late 2022. BAE Systems is the prime contractor for both the provision of the aircraft and the agreed arrangements for the in-service support and initial training. BAE Systems and its partner companies continue to upgrade the capabilities of Eurofighter Typhoon through a series of phased enhancements, ensuring the aircraft evolves to meet operational demand. Delivered in 2014, the Phase 1 Enhancement (P1E) package saw the

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platform become a high-end multi-role weapon system, with air-to-air capability including ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile) and AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) and the integration of Paveway IV for precision air-tosurface operations. Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) will bring a range of new, long-range capabilities, and P3E will introduce a low collateral, high precision strike capability through integration of the Brimstone air-tosurface weapon, giving a precision effect with low collateral damage against fastmoving armoured targets. In August 2016 BAE Systems commenced a 10 year partnership agreement with the UK Ministry of Defence to transform support of the UK Typhoon fleet. The Typhoon Total Availability eNterprise (TyTAN) arrangement introduced new ways of working to further reduce the costs of operating the fleet at RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth by more than a third. The arrangements will enable an estimated £500 million of savings to be reinvested to develop new capability enhancements for the aircraft.


F-35 is the world’s largest defence programme. Led by the US, with participation from the UK, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey, it is a truly collaborative programme aimed at delivering a stealthy, multi-role attack aircraft capable of operating from land and sea. BAE Systems brings its military aircraft expertise to the development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of the F-35 along with its partners Lockheed Martin, the programme’s prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman. The programme will deliver three variants of the aircraft, the conventional take off and landing (CTOL), the carrier variant (CV) and the short take off and vertical landing (STOVL), to meet customers’ individual needs. BAE Systems holds a 13-15% work share of each aircraft, excluding propulsion, bringing decades of experience in short take-off and vertical landing from its Harrier aircraft. It is also the lead design authority on crucial capabilities including the fuel system, crew escape and life support system, and the company conducts durability testing at its unique structural testing facility

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BAE systems aviation innovation in East Yorkshire, while its engineering teams work alongside its partners on flight testing and weapons integration work for the UK. When it reaches peak production, the programme will be worth some £1 billion to UK industry alone, with an estimated 25,000 UK jobs sustained across more than 500 companies in the supply chain. The aft fuselage and vertical and horizontal tails - effectively the rear section - of every F-35 are built at BAE Systems’ state of the art advanced manufacturing and assembly facilities in Lancashire, UK, and Adelaide, Australia. These facilities use purpose-built robotic technology to manufacture the component parts from both titanium and aluminium, with the majority delivered from the UK and the vertical tail sections for the F-35 CTOL variants produced in Australia. Over recent years, BAE Systems has invested over £150 million in new facilities and equipment to ensure it can meet the demands of the F35 programme. The integrated assembly line, or ‘Pulse line’ as it’s often referred to, has undergone a gradual expansion to gear up for the demanding rates of the programme. In November last year, a full scale durability test airframe of the F-35A aircraft successfully completed its third life testing, equivalent to 24,000 hours of ‘flying’, in a unique testing facility at BAE Systems’ site in Brough, East Yorkshire. The airframe, known as AJ-1, is representative of the F-35A conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant of the jet. This test rig is the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom and has supported the testing of AJ-1 since it arrived in Brough in 2009. It is fitted with more than 20 miles of wiring, 2,500 strain gauges and 160 loading actuators which are attached to the airframe during testing. The role of BAE Systems does not stop at the airframe, however, as it also delivers key systems and electronics onboard the jets. BAE Systems is a world leader in electronic warfare capability and its engineers in New Hampshire and Texas in the US provide the electronic warfare suite for the F-35, which includes fully integrated radar warning,

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“BAE Systems brings its military aircraft expertise to the development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of the F-35 along with its partners Lockheed Martin, the programme’s prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman”

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BAE systems aviation innovation

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targeting support and self-protection, to detect and defeat surface and airborne threats. To date, only around five per cent of the anticipated F-35 fleet is currently in service, but as the fleet grows, so will the need for spares and repairs, technical support and training. BAE Systems is part of the emerging global sustainment network being set up to support the growing F-35 fleet. The UK will be a significant repair hub for maintenance, repair, overhaul & upgrade (MRO&U) services for F-35 avionics and aircraft components. It will carry out this work as part of a team alongside the Defence Electronics and Components Agency and Northrop Grumman, operating out of the DECA site at RAF Sealand from 2018. BAE Systems is also part of a programme which will deliver engineering and training facilities at RAF Marham in Norfolk in preparation for the arrival of the RAF’s F-35 Lightning II fleet in 2018.

The BAE Systems team in Australia will be responsible for airframe MRO&U of the F-35 fleet in the Southern Pacific region. Forming an important part of the global sustainment capability for the fleet, its depot in Williamtown, New South Wales, will support all F-35 aircraft operating in the region from 2018. Like the UK, Australia will be a significant repair hub for MRO&U services for F-35 avionics and aircraft components, acting as lead provider of these services alongside its industry partners.

Tornado GR4

Tornado has been a vital part of air forces from the day it went into service nearly 40 years ago, and has thrived and survived through a combination of upgrade packages and capability improvements. The aircraft was conceived in the late 1960s, flew for the first time in 1974 and entered service in 1979. Built by Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a consortium between the UK, Germany

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and Italy, the Tornado is a formidable aircraft that is renowned for its ability to operate in any weather conditions, at low level, and at any time of the day or night. When the initial agreement was set up, the companies involved were the British Aircraft Corporation (which later became British Aerospace and is now BAE Systems), MBB in Germany (now part of Airbus SE) and Aeritalia (now part of Leonardo) in Italy. With a maximum speed of 1.3 Mach and an expansive range of integrated weaponry including Paveway IV, Tornado is still a frontline aircraft. As well as being in service for the three partner nations who developed Tornado, it is also in use by the Royal Saudi Air Force. The latest incarnation, Tornado GR4, is a highly capable frontline aircraft, iconic for its impressive swing role capabilities. In 2014, BAE Systems signed a £125 million extension to its contract with the Ministry of Defence to maintain Britain’s fleet of Tornados until they are

BAE systems aviation innovation retired in 2019. Following the withdrawal of the RAF’s Tornado F3 fleet from service in 2010, BAE Systems created the Reduce to Produce programme in which a team based at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire strips down the decommissioned F3 fleet and recycles parts that can be used as spares for the GR4 fleet. The scheme was designed to help cut costs on support for the Tornado Squadrons while still maintaining a fully comprehensive spares supply chain for the aircraft. It has been a resounding success since its introduction with the teams able to recover between 800-1200 parts per airframe, creating a huge saving for the RAF.

Hawk Trainer

The BAE Systems Hawk is a singleengine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. It was first flown in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk, and subsequently produced by its successor companies, British Aerospace and BAE Systems, respectively. With an unrivalled pedigree of delivering the pilots of the future for air forces across

the globe, Hawk is the world’s most successful military aircraft trainer - with operational capability. Outperforming and outselling other aircraft in its class, its advanced airborne simulation technology and new generation cockpit environment provides a smoother and more cost effective transition to the front line, allowing for student pilot and weapons system officer output at the most appropriate skill levels in readiness for front line operations. The most famous users of the Hawk are the Red Arrows aerobatic team, who adopted the plane in 1979. The Hawk has seen many variants since then, but in May 2015, Indian aerospace manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which was already building Hawks under licence, announced an interest in carrying out its own Hawk upgrades, including armed light attack variants. The latest concept, an Advanced Hawk, is now being developed by a joint venture of BAE Systems and Hindustan Aeronautics. A single example of the aircraft was unveiled at Aero India 2017 and flew for the first time in June 2017 at

BAE Systems military facility in Warton, Lancashire. Equipped with a new type of pilot display, a redesigned wing and defensive aids, the Advanced Hawk will meet market requirements for the next generation of fast jet training aircraft. While the existing Hawk continues to be the world’s most successful jet trainer, the Advanced Hawk concept demonstrator builds on these proven successes. The concept demonstrator features an upgraded cockpit equipped with BAE Systems’ LiteHUD® (a lowprofile head-up display) and a new, large area display that introduces a new student/pilot training experience. It also features a redesigned wing that increases performance in areas such as turn rates, angles of attack and both take-off and landing. “The successful first flight of the Advanced Hawk concept demonstrator is the latest step in the aircraft’s development and marks a significant milestone in Hawk’s capability upgrade,” said Steve Timms, Managing Director Defence Information, Training & Services at BAE Systems. “We already have the world’s leading advanced jet trainer and the new features in

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“The most famous users of the Hawk are the Red Arrows aerobatic team, who adopted the plane in 1979”

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BAE systems aviation innovation

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Advanced Hawk have been developed after listening to our customers’ views on where fast jet pilot training will go in the future and how we ensure the Hawk continues to meet their requirements. “By using this demonstrator aircraft we have highlighted to existing users of Hawk that many of the proposed features of an Advanced Hawk, such as the large area display and new wing, could be achievable as upgrades.”


Named after the Celtic god of thunder, Taranis is an advanced technology unmanned combat aircraft system. The Taranis demonstrator is the result of one-and-a-half-million man hours of work by the UK’s leading scientists, aerodynamicists and systems engineers from 250 UK companies. The aircraft was designed to demonstrate the UK’s ability to create an unmanned air system which, under the control of a human operator, is capable of undertaking sustained surveillance, marking targets, gathering intelligence, deterring adversaries and carrying out strikes in hostile territory. The findings from the aircraft’s test flights show that the UK has developed a significant lead in understanding unmanned aircraft which could strike with precision over a long range whilst remaining undetected. The technological advances made through Taranis will also help the UK MOD and Royal Air Force make decisions on the future mix of manned and unmanned

fast jet aircraft and how they will operate together in a safe and effective manner for the UK’s defences. Costing £185 million and funded jointly by the UK MOD and UK industry, the Taranis demonstrator aircraft was formally unveiled in July 2010. Initial ‘power-up’ or ground testing commenced later in 2010 at BAE Systems’ military aircraft factory in Warton, Lancashire. Taranis has now undergone a series of successful flight trials and the team continues to develop the aircraft’s capability. About the size of a BAE Systems Hawk aircraft, Taranis has been designed and built by BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, the Systems division of GE Aviation (formerly Smiths Aerospace) and QinetiQ, working alongside UK MOD military staff and scientists. In addition to prime contracting the project, BAE Systems led on many elements of the Taranis technology demonstrator, including the low observability, systems integration, control infrastructure and full autonomy elements (in partnership with QinetiQ). In addition to the existing industry partners, the project also works with a significant number of other UK suppliers who provide supporting technology and components.

Adaptable UAVs

Within the next few decades, armed forces could be using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with adaptable aircraft technologies that alternate between

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fixed-wing flight and rotary-wing flight. Engineers from BAE Systems together with students from Cranfield University, have revealed a new technology concept – named Adaptable UAVs – which can alternate between the two different flight modes in the same mission. When in rotary wing mode the UAVs can be launched and recovered from battlefields and docked on a special pole. The Adaptable UAVs are a hybrid between fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and would use adaptive flight control and advanced navigation and guidance software, which would allow the aircraft to benefit from the greater speed and range afforded to fixed-wing aircraft, before alternating to rotary-wing mode to hover and achieve vertical take-off and landing. The pole constrains the lateral or sideways movement of the UAV when being launched or recovered so strong winds cannot dislodge them. This is particularly important when recovering a UAV to the aft of a ship or a land vehicle. The pole’s gyro-stabilised element also ensures that it remains upright independently of the host vehicle’s orientation, which may be rolling if on a ship, or in the case of a land vehicle driving up or down a slope at the time of the launch or recovery. “The battlefield of the future will require novel solutions to meet emerging threats and to keep human operators safe wherever they may be,” said Professor Nick Colosimo, BAE Systems’ futurist and technologist. “The Adaptable UAVs concept and related

BAE systems aviation innovation technologies are one of a number of concepts being explored through close collaboration between industry and students in academia.” Cranfield University is one of BAE Systems strategic university partners. Research staff and students have explored a range of UAV technologies including research into adaptive flight control and advanced navigation and guidance software. “Working with BAE Systems on the Cranfield University MSc in Autonomous Vehicle Dynamics & Control has provided a great opportunity for the students and research staff to explore a range of novel concepts and technologies,” said Professor Antonios Tsourdos, head of the Centre for Autonomous and CyberPhysical Systems at Cranfield University.


BAE Systems has developed some of the world’s most innovative technologies and continues to invest in research and development to generate future products and capabilities. Another of its university partners is The University of Manchester with whom it is exploring some unique flight control technology.

MAGMA is a small scale unmanned aerial vehicle which will use a unique blown-air system to manoeuvre the aircraft - paving the way for future stealthier aircraft designs. The first phase of flight trials has been successfully completed. The new concept for aircraft control removes the conventional need for complex, mechanical moving parts to move flaps to control the aircraft during flight. This could give greater control as well as reduce weight and maintenance costs, allowing for lighter, stealthier, faster and more efficient military and civil aircraft in the future. The two technologies to be trialled first using the jet-powered UAV, MAGMA, are: • Wing circulation control, which takes air from the aircraft engine and blows it supersonically through the trailing edge of the wing to provide control for the aircraft. • Fluidic thrust vectoring, which uses blown air to deflect the exhaust, allowing for the direction of the aircraft to be changed. The flight trials are part of an ongoing project between the two organisations and wider long-term collaboration

between industry, academia and government to explore and develop innovative flight control technology. Further flight trials are planned for the coming months to demonstrate the novel flight control technologies with the ultimate aim of flying the aircraft without any moving control surfaces or fins. If successful, the tests will demonstrate the first ever use of such circulation control in flight on a gas turbine aircraft. “The technologies we are developing with The University of Manchester will make it possible to design cheaper, higher performance, next generation aircraft,” said Clyde Warsop, engineering fellow at BAE Systems. “Our investment in research and development drives continued technological improvements in our advanced military aircraft, helping to ensure UK aerospace remains at the forefront of the industry and that we retain the right skills to design and build the aircraft of the future.”

Cyber defence

Another recent initiative is the development of cyber defence capabilities to help aircraft detect and mitigate cyber attacks in real time. The new capabilities — including system

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine


BAE systems aviation innovation

analysis, reverse engineering, and intrusion detection — will build upon the company’s state-of-the-art threat management solutions and help protect war fighters and aircraft from a variety of cyber threats. While future platforms are designed with cyber security in mind, this was not always the case with the current fleet of military aircraft, which may be vulnerable to cyber attacks. These platforms were developed to be in service for decades and need periodic upgrades. They are complex systems packed with processors, computers,

networks and data links, creating an interconnected digital environment that may expose war fighters to cyber threats. These cyber defence capabilities expand the company’s threat management portfolio, including the recently announced 3-Dimensional Advanced Warning System (3DAWS) product suite, which is designed to protect aircraft from firstencounter kinetic threats with layered countermeasures. Innovation is a key focus at BAE Systems, as witnessed by an R&D spend of £1 billion in 2016 and £4.4

billion in the past five years. Whether in collaboration with world class partners from allied countries, building aircraft and systems for our mutual defence, or researching with leading UK universities in areas such as UAVs, novel materials, advanced manufacturing or artificial intelligence, BAE Systems is firmly at the centre of aviation innovation.

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine


news & features

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Have a news story or press release you would like to be considered for publication in the next Aviation Manufacturer Magazine? Please contact Martin Ashcroft at


First BelugaXL transporter rolls off assembly line T

he first structurally complete airframe for the new BelugaXL has rolled out from its assembly hangar in Toulouse, France. Once operational, a fleet of these next-generation airlifters will be used to transport completed sections of Airbus aircraft between the company’s European production sites and to its final assembly lines in France, Germany and Spain. The BelugaXL is one of the largest aircraft in the world. With a bulging upper forward fuselage and enormous cargo area, the BelugaXL is hardly recognizable as the outsized airlifter version of the Airbus A330-200 jetliner from which it is derived. “We have the A330 as a foundation,” said Bertrand George, head of the BelugaXL programme, “but many changes have been successfully designed, introduced into the aircraft and tested. Transforming an existing product into a super transporter is not a simple task.” This initial BelugaXL is expected to be flying by mid-2018. “The whole team is really looking forward to seeing its first flight and, of course, its smiling livery,” said George, referring to the supersized smile that will be painted across the ‘face’ of the transporter, the winning design of six options presented to Airbus employees for a vote in early 2017. Before that can happen, the aircraft will undergo months of testing after installation of its two jet engines, ensuring each of the BelugaXL’s systems functions as intended. “The data from these tests will be used to clear the aircraft for flight and, later on, to attain type certification,” (the official pronouncement of the aircraft’s safety and airworthiness), said George.

While the first structurally complete BelugaXL moves into its testing phase, the second A330 to be converted into a BelugaXL arrived on schedule in Toulouse to begin its integration process. George noted that with lessons learned from the production of the first transporter, the assembly time for the second is expected to be about two months shorter. The BelugaXL programme was launched in November 2014 to address Airbus’ increasing transport requirements. At six

“The BelugaXL will be able to transport both wings of the A350 XWB jetliner at once, instead of the single wing currently accommodated on the BelugaST” metres longer, one metre wider and with a payload lifting capacity six tonnes greater than the BelugaST transporter version it is replacing, the BelugaXL will be able to transport both wings of the A350 XWB jetliner at once, instead of the single wing currently accommodated on the BelugaST. All told, five BelugaXLs are scheduled to enter service for Airbus’ airlift needs.

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Third H160 prototype sports new livery


irbus Helicopters has given the third H160 prototype a fresh coat of paint. Its striking carboninspired livery offers a nod to the Airbus A350 XWB. Both aircraft are produced using advanced composite materials supplied by Airbus’ long term partner, Hexcel. Hexcel’s reinforcements, prepregs, adhesives and honeycomb materials are used in the H160’s composite fuselage structures and main rotor blades. The H160 is the first civil helicopter equipped with a full composite fuselage, the advantages of which include a lighter fuelsaving airframe, performance optimization and simplified maintenance.

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GE Aviation announces first test run of Advanced Turboprop engine

Aviation’s Advanced Turboprop engine, the first clean-sheet turboprop engine to hit the business and general aviation market in more than 30 years, has successfully completed its first engine test run at GE Aviation’s facility in Prague, Czech Republic. The engine will power Textron Aviation’s new Cessna Denali, which is expected to fly in late 2018. By the time the Denali enters into service, the engine will have completed more than 2000 hours of testing. With 79 new technologies introduced, the engine offers a portfolio of advanced technology, as well as unparalleled performance and efficiency. “The continued testing will generate valuable data from the engine and validate the aerodynamics, mechanics, and aerothermal systems,” said Paul Corkery, general manager for GE Aviation Turboprops. “With the engine run and most of the individual component testing completed, early indications show that we will meet or exceed all the performance numbers we have quoted for the engine.” The Advanced Turboprop engine includes more printed components than any production engine in aviation history with 35 per cent of the turboprop’s parts built via additive manufacturing. A total of 855 conventionally manufactured parts has been reduced to 12 additive parts, including sumps, bearing housings, frames, exhaust case, combustor liner, heat exchangers and stationary flow path components. Since the Advanced Turboprop engine was unveiled at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention in November 2015, GE Aviation has committed more than $400 million in development costs. GE has also finalized an agreement with the Czech government to build its new turboprop headquarters for development, test and engine-production in the Czech Republic. When complete and at full production rate, the new GE Aviation Czech facility is expected to have 500 additional employees.

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Boeing and Adient to design and build aircraft seats


oeing and Adient have announced the formation of Adient Aerospace, a joint venture that will develop, manufacture and sell a portfolio of seating products to airlines and aircraft leasing companies. The seats will be available for installation on new airplanes and as retrofit configurations for aircraft produced by Boeing and other commercial aircraft manufacturers. The joint venture has been formed to address the aviation industry’s need for more capacity in the seating category, superior quality and reliable on-time performance. “Seats have been a persistent challenge for our customers, the industry and Boeing, and we are taking action to help address constraints in the market,” said Kevin Schemm, senior vice president of supply chain management, finance & business operations and chief financial officer for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“Adient Aerospace will leverage Boeing’s industry leadership and deep understanding of customer needs and technical requirements, to provide a superior seating product for airlines and passengers around the world. This joint venture supports Boeing’s vertical integration strategy to develop inhouse capabilities and depth in key areas to offer better products, grow services and generate higher lifecycle value.” Adient, best known for the manufacture of automotive seating, will have 50.01% of the joint venture. Adient Aerospace’s operational headquarters, technology centre and initial production plant will be located in Kaiserslautern, near Frankfurt in Germany. The joint venture’s initial customer service centre will be based in Seattle, Washington. Adient Aerospace aftermarket spare parts distribution will be performed exclusively through Aviall, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing.

“Seats have been a persistent challenge for our customers, the industry and Boeing”

FAA certifies Dreamliner 787-10 for commercial service T

he US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an amended type certificate for the Boeing 787-10, clearing the aircraft for commercial service in the United States. The ATC award follows a successful flight test program that began in March 2017 in which three flight test airplanes clocked up

around 900 test hours to confirm that the aircraft’s handling, systems and overall performance met certification standards. “We are pleased to have met the rigorous standards set forth by the FAA and are eager to bring the airplane to market for our valued customers,” said Brad Zaback, vice president and

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general manager of the 787 programme. “After years of design and testing, our team has proven the quality, safety and reliability of the newest member of the Dreamliner family and we look forward to seeing the airplane in service later this year.” The 787-10 is 18 feet longer than the -9 version, allowing the aircraft to carry up to

330 passengers, forty more than its predecessor. The two models have considerable commonality, however, sharing 95 per cent of the same part numbers. The 787-10 will be built exclusively in South Carolina. Its launch customer Singapore Airlines expects to take delivery of the first aircraft early this year.

news Spirit AeroSystems plans major expansion in Wichita


pirit AeroSystems has announced plans for a major expansion at its Wichita, Kansas, facility, including the addition of 1,000 jobs and capital investments totalling $1 billion over the next five years. The company’s growth is fuelled by increasing production rates on existing commercial aircraft programs, growth in Spirit’s Fabrication and Defense businesses and other new business pursuits. The majority of the new job creation will be in the hourly ranks, including skilled sheet metal mechanics, composite technicians and CNC machine operators. “Wichita is our headquarters and

“We have deep roots in Wichita, and we are here for the long-haul”

the hub of our operations,” said Spirit President and CEO Tom Gentile. “Our workforce is unparalleled, with generations of aircraft employees who have worked in our plant. And now future generations will have those same opportunities. We are proud to partner with the city, county and state to bring new jobs and investment to the community and help ensure Wichita remains the Air Capital of the World. “Spirit is a global company with sites across the world, and we will continue to grow where it makes sense for the business,” he continued. “We have deep roots in Wichita, and we are here for the long-haul.”

Praxair and GE Aviation open advanced jet engine coatings facility in Mississippi


raxair and GE Aviation have opened a new facility for their PG Technologies business, which specializes in advanced coatings that enable jet engines to withstand higher temperatures and stresses. PG Technologies is a joint venture between Praxair Surface Technologies Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Praxair Inc, and GE Aviation. The 300,000 square-foot facility is expected to employ at least 250 people to meet demand for the latest generation of jet engines, including the GE9X and the CFM LEAP. “We are pleased to open a world-class coatings facility in Ellisville that will house the next generation of coating technologies and applications for

“The engine components delivered from this plant will be in service for decades to come”

the aviation industry,” said Praxair chairman and chief executive officer Steve Angel. “PG Technologies is a direct result of the longstanding and highly successful commercial relationship we have enjoyed with GE for over 20 years and we look forward to driving steady growth in the business while supporting GE Aviation’s needs.” Tony Aiello, GE Aviation’s vice president and general manager for the global supply chain, commented. “The coating technology at this new facility is vital to enabling us to meet the demands of our customers, who expect industry-leading performance from GE Aviation. The engine components delivered from this plant will be in service for decades to come with our more than 400 airline customers all around the world.”

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine  29

finishing is only the beginning TNM is specialized in surface finishing for the aviation industry and its goal is to provide their customers with “one stop shop”.TNM is a fully approved facility for Bombardier, Airbus and Boeing along with many other major OEMs and we’re in the process of also getting fully approved for Lockheed Martin. Our Mission “Our mission is to be amongst the elite processors for surface finishing. We are committed to providing superior value and service to our customers and sustained profitability to our stakeholders by investing in our people and services. At TNM “FINISHING IS ONLY THE BEGINNING”. Why TNM?

• Approvals for all Major OEMs • Capacity for small, medium and Large Parts • Various Type of treatments • Aggressive Lead Time • On Time Delivery, Quality and Services are guaranteed • Certified for ISO 9001, AS9100, NADCAP

TNM has been awarded as one of Top Shops in North America for a second consecutive year and are a finalist for the Gilles Demers 2016 Award attributed by the Québec aerospace community for being a leader in commitment to innovation, wealth creation and outreach and business development and internationalization.

21 Chemin de l’aviation, Pointe -Claire, QC, H9R 4Z2, Tel: (514) 429-7777 Fax : (514) 429 -5108 General Manager, Michel Martel : 514-209-1024

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine


news Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens team up for electric future


irbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens have formed a partnership to make advances in hybridelectric propulsion for commercial aircraft. The plan is to develop the E-Fan X hybrid-electric technology demonstrator to be ready to fly in 2020 following a comprehensive ground test campaign, provisionally on a BAe 146 flying testbed, with one of the aircraft’s four gas turbine engines replaced by a two megawatt electric motor. Provisions will be made to replace a second gas turbine with an electric motor once system maturity has been proven. The E-Fan programme began in 2012 with a collaboration between Airbus and Rolls-Royce. “The E-Fan X is an important next step in our goal of making electric flight a reality in the foreseeable future,” said Paul Eremenko, Airbus’ Chief Technology Officer. “We see hybrid-electric propulsion as a compelling technology for the future of aviation.” The E-Fan X demonstrator will explore the challenges of high-power propulsion systems, such as thermal effects, electric thrust management, altitude and dynamic effects on electric systems and electromagnetic compatibility issues.

“We see hybridelectric propulsion as a compelling technology for the future of aviation”

The objective is to push and mature the technology, performance, safety and reliability, enabling quick progress on the hybrid electric technology. As part of the E-Fan X programme, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens will each contribute with their extensive experience and know-how in their respective fields of expertise. Siemens will deliver the two megawatt electric motors and their power electronic control unit, as well as the inverter, DC/DC converter, and power distribution system. Rolls-Royce will be responsible for the turbo-shaft engine, two megawatt generator, and power electronics. Airbus will be responsible for overall integration as well as the control architecture of the hybridelectric propulsion system and batteries, and its integration with flight controls. Along with Airbus, Rolls-Royce will also work on the fan adaptation to the existing nacelle and the Siemens electric motor. One of the drivers behind the partnership is the European Commission’s Flightpath 2050 Vision for Aviation, which envisages a reduction of CO2 by 75%, reduction of NOx by 90% and noise reduction by 65 per cent.

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news Leonardo delivers first AW101 all-weather SAR helicopter for Norway


eonardo has delivered the first of 16 AW101 all-weather search and rescue helicopters to the Norwegian Ministry of Justice & Public Security. The aircraft departed Leonardo’s facility in Yeovil, UK for Sola Air Base in southern Norway where it will enter a period of operational test & evaluation before entering service with the Royal Norwegian Air Force in 2018. Deliveries will continue through to 2020. “The delivery of the first aircraft marks a major milestone for the Norwegian All-Weather Search and Rescue Helicopter programme and everyone is delighted to see the first AW101 in Norway,” said Bjørn Ivar Aarseth, project manager of NAWSARH. “The AW101 we have developed for Norway is undoubtedly the world’s most

“The AW101 we have developed for Norway is undoubtedly the world’s most capable SAR helicopter”

capable SAR helicopter and it is with great pride that we have delivered the first aircraft that will serve the people of Norway for decades to come,” said Jon Clark, Leonardo’s programme manager. The AW101 has three engines, a full ice protection system, long range and endurance, and a proven 30 minute ‘run dry’ gearbox as well as multiple redundancy features in the avionic and mission systems. The large cabin doors and rear ramp provide easy access for personnel, survivors and equipment. Leonardo has partnered with Norwegian companies AIM Aviation to provide maintenance services at the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s six operating bases and with Kongsberg Defence Systems to provide helicopter transmission repair and overhaul services in Norway.

ST Aerospace to support Gulf Air’s new Boeing 787s


ulf Air, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier, has awarded a 15-year contract for Boeing 787 aircraft component support to Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd (ST Aerospace), the aerospace arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering. ST Aerospace will provide comprehensive component maintenance-bythe-hour (MBH) support covering component exchange, repair, overhaul, modification, reliability monitoring and logistics services for Gulf Air’s new fleet of Boeing 787-9 aircraft. “ST Aerospace has demonstrated that it is the right partner for Gulf Air as we drive forward with our fleet

renewal programme in preparation to welcome our new aircraft, which commence delivery in the second quarter of 2018,” said Gulf Air Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Captain Waleed Abdulhameed Al Alawi. ST Aerospace’s MBH programme is renowned for its flexibility and high level of customisation. For a fixed rate per hour, airlines select a range of support services and pay a corresponding and pre-determined flight per hour rate, which allows operators to keep costs low and minimise fixed asset inventory holdings in terms of spares or maintenance equipment.

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proven engineering capabilities TJW has been manufacturing precision metal components for the world’s most demanding markets since 1983. Using cutting edge technology and advanced engineering techniques to provide outstanding services all from locations Dursley, Gloucestershire and Stourbridge, West Midlands. TJW provides a “one-stop shop” for finished components for the aerospace, automotive, oil & gas, nuclear, medical, OEM and metrology industries.

TJW offers: • Flexible production quantities through • CNC Milling & Turning • Wire Erosion • Spark Erosion • CNC Waterjet cutting • Anodising (ABP1 1023 & Nylon Coating ABP1 4045)

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news Airbus sees out 2017 with record sales and milestone achievements


irbus has finalised agreements with Indigo Partners for the sale of 430 aircraft in the A320neo family – the largest commercial jetliner order in the company’s history. The order comprises 274 A320neos and 156 A321neos worth $49.5 billion at list prices. The signed purchase agreement follows a memorandum of understanding announced at the Dubai Air Show in November 2017. The aircraft will be shared between Indigo’s four portfolio airlines. Wizz Air, based in Hungary, will receive 72 Airbus A320neo and 74 A321neo aircraft. US based Frontier Airlines will take 100 of the A320neo and 34 A321neo aircraft. Chile’s JetSMART will receive 56 Airbus A320neo and 14 A321neo jetliners, while Mexico-based Volaris will receive 46 Airbus A320neo and 34 A321neos. “These customer-friendly and efficient A320neo Family aircraft form a great platform for continued growth for our family of ultra-low-cost airlines,” said Bill Franke, managing partner of Indigo Partners. “The Indigo Partners team looks forward to creating even more value for even more passengers around the world with these modern and efficient aircraft.”

John Leahy, Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer, Customers, added, “Bill Franke and the teams from Wizz, Volaris, JetSMART and Frontier are great partners, and the global Airbus team is very proud to continue to meet their growing needs for aircraft that provide value, reliability and comfort. The A320neo Family offers the lowest operating costs, longest range and

“The Indigo order is the largest commercial jetliner order in the company’s history” most spacious cabin in the single-aisle aircraft market, making the ‘neo’ a great choice for these low-cost airlines in the Americas and Europe.” In separate announcements over the festive season Airbus said that CALC (China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited), had signed a firm order for 50 A320neo Family aircraft, bringing

CALC’s total order book to date to around 200 Airbus single-aisle aircraft. Aircraft lessor AerCap Holdings also boosted its A320neo portfolio after signing a firm agreement to buy 50 additional aircraft. Following an MOU signed at the Paris Airshow in June, Viva Air, the Latin America low cost carrier group owned by Irelandia Aviation, has signed a purchase agreement for 50 A320 Family aircraft. The 35 A320neo and 15 A320ceo will be operated by the group’s airlines VivaColombia and Viva Air Peru and will allow the two all-Airbus operators to modernize their fleets and capture growth opportunities across Latin America.

Milestone in Mobile

Another notable achievement in December was the delivery of the 50th jetliner built at the Airbus A320 Family US Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama, less than two years after Airbus delivered the first A320 Family aircraft, in a milestone that also meets the site’s goal of reaching a production rate of four A320 Family jetliners per month. The A321 was delivered to Delta Air Lines.

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Powerful new insights gained from aircraft data are fueling greater efficiencies and reducing costs. This is the power of data at work.

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news Rolls-Royce obtains final approval for acquisition of ITP


olls-Royce has gained the approval of all the relevant authorities to complete its acquisition of the outstanding 53.1% of Industria de Turbo Propulsores SA, a Spanish aircraft engine and components manufacturer previously operating as a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Sener Grupo de Ingeniería. The acquisition was originally announced in July 2016 and a valuation of €720 million was agreed in November last year. Final approval from the Spanish authorities allowed the deal to be completed. Rolls-Royce will make eight evenly spaced payments of equal value over a period of two-years. The sale agreement allows Rolls to pay either in cash or in the form of Rolls-Royce shares, as it sees fit. Headquartered in Bilbao, ITP is one of the world’s largest suppliers of turbofan and turboprop engine components, with facilities in India, Malta, Mexico, the UK and the US. ITP is an important partner on the Rolls-Royce UltraFan® engine development programme, which aims to demonstrate a 25%

fuel efficiency improvement over the first generation of RollsRoyce Trent engines. Rebranded as ITP Aero, as part of the Rolls-Royce group the

“ITP is one of the world’s largest suppliers of turbofan and turboprop engine components” company will maintain a differentiated multi-product strategy for each market segment. It will continue to service its current broad customer portfolio, spanning the wide body and singleaisle markets, as well as the regional and business aviation segments.

Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services selected for new Airbus nacelle programme


irbus has chosen Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services as its supplier on a new engine nacelle programme for the Pratt & Whitney powered A320neo family of aircraft. Bombardier’s Northern

Ireland operations (Short Brothers) has been chosen to develop and manufacture a new thrust reverser to enable Airbus to offer a new nacelle and its aftermarket support for Pratt & Whitney’s Pure Power PW1100G engine. Bombardier is already

a supplier to Airbus on a number of programmes. Its Belfast operation has extensive nacelle experience, having accumulated more than 40 years in the design, development, manufacture and support of aircraft engine nacelles, including

major nacelle components for Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, which power the Airbus A330 aircraft and complete nacelles, including thrust reversers, for General Electric’s CF34 engines which power Bombardier’s CRJ regional jet family.

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Boeing sets airplane delivery record in 2017

oeing delivered more commercial aircraft than any manufacturer for the sixth consecutive year in 2017, setting an industry record with 763 deliveries, driven by high output of the 737 and 787 jets. At the same time the company grew its backlog with 912 net orders, reflecting healthy demand for its single-aisle and twin-aisle airplanes. Boeing reached a new high on the 737 program as it raised production to 47 airplanes a month during the year and began delivering the new 737 MAX, contributing to a record 529 deliveries, including 74 of the MAX variety. On the 787 Dreamliner program, Boeing continued building at the highest production rate for a twin-aisle jet, leading to 136 deliveries for the year. “The record-setting performance is a testament to our employees and supplier

partners who continue to innovate new ways to design, build and deliver the most fuel-efficient airplanes to customers around the world,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister.

“Other major milestones include the first flights of the 737 MAX 9 and the 787-10 Dreamliner” Orders were placed by 71 customers for 912 aircraft, valued at $134.8 billion at list prices. The total extends Boeing’s backlog to a record 5,864 airplanes at

year end, which is equal to about seven years of production. “The strong sales activity reflects continuing strong demand for the 737 MAX family, including the ultra-efficient MAX 10 variant that we launched last year, and the market’s increasing preference for Boeing’s family of twinaisle jets,” said McAllister. “Our planned production increases over the coming years are designed to satisfy this robust demand.” In 2017, the 787 Dreamliner family racked up nearly 100 net orders and the 777 family captured 60 net orders. A detailed report is available on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website. Other major milestones include the first flights of the 737 MAX 9 and the 787-10 Dreamliner, and the start of production of the 737 MAX 7 and the new 777X.

EgyptAir chooses Pratt & Whitney engines for C Series aircraft order EgyptAir has chosen Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower Geared Turbofan engine to power up to 24 Bombardier CS300 aircraft. The airline has ordered 12 CS300s with a purchase option for an

additional 12 aircraft. The order was announced during the Dubai Airshow. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2018. Since entering into service in early 2016, the GTF engine has demonstrated its

promised ability to reduce fuel burn by 16 per cent, regulated emissions by 50 per cent, lower NOx emissions to the regulatory standard and noise footprint by 75 per cent.

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine  41


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news Emirates signs agreement for up to 36 additional A380s


ubai-based Emirates Airline has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to acquire up to 36 additional A380 aircraft. The commitment is for 20 A380s and an option for 16 more, with deliveries to start in

“This new order underscores Airbus’ commitment to produce the A380 at least for another 10 years”

2020, valued at $16 billion at latest list prices. “We’ve made no secret of the fact that the A380 has been a success for Emirates,” said Sheikh Ahmed. “Our customers love it, and we’ve been able to deploy it on different missions across our network, giving us flexibility in terms of range and passenger mix. The agreement was signed at the airline’s headquarters in Dubai by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum,

Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, and John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer - Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “Some of the new A380s we’ve just ordered will be used as fleet replacements. This order will provide stability to the A380 production line. We will continue to work closely with Airbus to further enhance the aircraft and onboard product, so as to offer our passengers the best possible experience. The beauty of this aircraft is that the technology and real estate on board gives us plenty of room to do something different with the interiors.” John Leahy commented: “This aircraft has contributed enormously to Emirates’ growth and success since 2008 and we are delighted that it will continue to do so. This new order underscores Airbus’ commitment to produce the A380 at least for another 10 years. I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s.” Emirates first A380 was delivered in July 2008, and the airline took its 100th on 3 November 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. To date, 222 A380s have been delivered to 13 airlines.

Aleris secures new multiyear contract with Embraer


leris has signed a new multi-year contract with Embraer to supply aluminium flat rolled products for use in the production of all Embraer aircraft. The renewed contract agreement includes the supply of technically

advanced alloys and extends the portfolio of products for different applications. “Our continued investment in growing our technical capabilities has enabled us to further expand our relationship with Embraer, and we look forward to working with them

to achieve their aircraft manufacturing and design goals,” said Sean Stack, Aleris chairman and CEO. “With a world class aerospace aluminum plate facility in Asia Pacific, we are also uniquely positioned to help them meet aerospace demand in the region which

is projected to experience the most significant growth.” The contract includes the supply of material from the company’s facilities in Koblenz, Germany and Zhenjiang, China, the latter being a greenfield project for Aleris which opened in 2013.

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Additive manufacturing A revolution in component design Guido Chiappa, CEO at RINA Consulting CSM, applies a consultant’s perspective to the potential of additive manufacturing


he way we manufacture is changing. New technologies are currently being harnessed to increase production efficiency, reduce costs, make customization easier and optimize products. Additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) is gaining in popularity as the technology is developed to cover larger components and meet more challenging mechanical or chemical requirements. For design engineers it can remove limitations inherent in the machining process. For production managers it can reduce lead times and increase manufacturing flexibility. AM can reduce production costs while enhancing the properties of a component, so it is no wonder that leading manufacturers are investing in this technology for the future prosperity of their businesses. RINA Consulting - Centro Sviluppo Materiali (CSM) is part of the RINA group. With a background in developing steel technologies, it specializes in helping

Stratasys Infinite Build 3D Demonstrator

currently fewer than 30 metal powders generally available to cover a wide range of mechanical and chemical requirements, however, so if these powders do not possess all the necessary characteristics, companies like CSM can develop new variants to meet the application’s demands.

“Additive manufacturing uses metals, composites or plastics, in a fine powder form” companies that wish to incorporate additive manufacturing into their metal business. It can help with everything from the feasibility of the process for the particular application, through to selection of material, the development of specific materials with special characteristics if required, and verifying final products. Additive manufacturing uses metals, composites or plastics, typically in a fine powder form. Using various techniques such as lasers and electron beams, machines build up layers of the powdered material to form a component. There are

“You may think the first step in embracing AM is to choose a machine for the process, but it’s not as straightforward as that,” commented Guido Chiappa, CEO at CSM. “First you must establish which characteristics of additive manufacturing are most relevant to the components you want to make. This will tell you which particular AM process, and therefore machine, is required to meet the needs of the application.” Components and bills of materials need to be analysed to identify which items are made from which materials and where

the benefits of AM may lie. It may be beneficial where the properties of a particular part are limited by the constraints of machining. Would flexibility be a benefit, such as the ability to produce small batches or easy customization? Once the benefits have been identified and evaluated, the next step is to consider what requirements the component has to meet, and whether current technology is enough to meet them. If not, can a special metallic or alloy powder be developed that will meet the needs of the component? For some market sectors, such as power generation or aerospace, additive manufacturing is so attractive that decisions to use it for certain components will be taken even though the AM technology itself needs further development. This development will then form part of the overall project. This is obviously a major commitment and investment, but new powders can be designed to meet specific needs. Designing new metallic or alloy

additive manufacturing a revolution in component design

Stratasys Continous Build 3D Demonstrator - ejecting a part

powders for use in AM is an iterative process. The powder is designed for specific chemical or mechanical requirements based on existing material properties, then trialled in pilot production and the product tested to verify its characteristics. Testing and qualification of the final process also needs to be carried out on the specific AM machine type that will be used in final production. Appreciating the benefits of additive manufacturing requires a level of expertise, including a detailed understanding of the composition and chemistry of the powders, indepth knowledge of the different AM technologies and how they are best used, and the facilities to test the complete process prior to investment in full scale machinery. State-of-the-art laboratories and production facilities are required for such testing, along with careful analysis of the results. Consultants in AM also need to be able to help companies understand the technical and economic feasibility for their specific applications and their potential return on investment. This includes helping identify current components and sub-components suitable for the process, future growth potential and any competitive advantage gained through the integration of AM technology. One of the major appeals of AM is freedom from the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes. AM offers an opportunity to reduce the number of manufacturing steps,

and optimise the product’s geometry, ergonomics and overall design. This amounts to a revolution in component design, enabling its geometry to place strength and integrity precisely where they are required. Additive manufacturing can add benefit to the final product in terms of features and characteristics, but can also increase component reliability and help ensure consistent high quality, factors of particular importance in aerospace applications. As AM technology develops to offer larger component sizes, other benefits emerge. Metallic and alloy powders

Topology optimization to create complex structures and to reduce the weight is another important key driver.


Additive manufacturing is changing the engineering design world. As this exciting new technology continues to develop, the number of applications that will benefit from it continues to increase. The Industry 4.0 model and the Internet of Things will also promote wider use of this technology. With specialist support, businesses can plan to incorporate the technology into their production lines with peace

“One of the major appeals of AM is freedom from the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes� can be selected or developed that can specifically handle extremes in corrosion, pressure and temperature. Companies like CSM offer the additional peace of mind of a detailed understanding of the application of the materials used in this industry and can test and validate new products for ultimate safety and security. Limitations on size and material availability will be resolved in the future and 3D printing will become a technology complementing and completing traditional methods. For aerospace one of the key drivers in component manufacturing is to improve the buy-to-fly ratio of metallic parts.

of mind that processes have been tested and validated prior to full scale investment. Companies like CSM can give independent advice to ensure the best return on investment and troublefree implementation of the technology. It is vital to understand the composition of the powders, the machinery options available, and their limitations, and the applications where these materials can be used. In addition, the ability to develop new materials, produce samples and thoroughly test new powders or AM processes is all part of getting the best out of additive manufacturing for every individual business need.

Aviation Manufacturer Magazine



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With its continual quest for innovation and its relentless rivalry with Boeing, Airbus always has an eye for an opportunity. The announcement of a partnership with Bombardier surprised a few of us, but it’s good for the headlines...


hen Boeing complained to the US International Trade Commission that Bombardier was being subsidised by the Canadian and UK governments and the Province of Quebec, to sell its C-Series planes to Delta Airlines below cost price, many observers thought it was a little out of proportion. What were they thinking of? Boeing doesn’t make an aircraft that competes with the C-Series. How could Boeing complain about government support for Bombardier when it gets massive support from the US military, NASA and the State of Washington?

Boeing said in a statement that the dispute “has everything to do with maintaining a level playing field and ensuring that aerospace companies abide by trade agreements.” Others thought it smacked of corporate bullying. Goliath picking on poor little David. Bombardier claimed that Boeing was trying to strangle a new competitor at birth and The Economist called the case against Bombardier "a flight of hypocrisy". When the US Commerce Department imposed swingeing duties amounting to 300 per cent on the C-Series, there was a sharp intake of breath across the industry.

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“In October it was announced that Airbus had agreed to purchase a 50.01% stake in the C-Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), the entity that manufactures and sells the C-Series”

AIRBUS How could Bombardier survive? Then David looked around for a stone – and Airbus obliged. In October it was announced that Airbus had agreed to purchase a 50.01% stake in the C-Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), the entity that manufactures and sells the C-Series. Airbus will provide procurement, sales and marketing, and customer support expertise for the programme, and crucially, will also create a second C-Series assembly line at its A320 assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama. The deal also contains a provision which allows Airbus to eventually buy out the remaining stake held by both Bombardier (31%) and Investissement Québec (19%). Both Airbus and Bombardier deny (of course) that the dispute with Boeing is the reason for the deal, and it is true that Airbus is no stranger to the strategic partnership; talk of a link between the two has been in the wind for a while. But it is also crucial for sales of the C-Series in the US to avoid the huge tariffs imposed by US authorities. That might just be achieved if the assembly of C-Series aircraft for the US market could be carried out in the Airbus facility in Mobile, Alabama. Having said that, the deal has merit for a number of other reasons. The single aisle market is growing, representing arguably 70% of the expected global future demand for aircraft. The C-Series range (from 100 to 150 seats) is highly complementary to Airbus’ existing single aisle aircraft


portfolio, which focuses on the higher end of the single-aisle business (150240 seats). Furthermore, the world class sales, marketing and support networks that Airbus brings into the venture are expected to strengthen and accelerate the C-Series’ commercial momentum, and Airbus’ supply chain expertise could generate significant production cost savings. "This is a win-win for everybody!” said Airbus chief executive officer Tom Enders. “The C-Series, with its stateof-the-art design and great economics, is a great fit with our existing singleaisle aircraft family and rapidly extends our product offering into a fast growing market sector. I have no doubt

that our partnership with Bombardier will boost sales and the value of this programme tremendously. "Not only will this partnership secure the C-Series and its industrial operations in Canada, the UK and China, but we also bring new jobs to the US. Airbus will benefit from strengthening its product portfolio in the high-volume single-aisle market, offering superior value to our airline customers worldwide." The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both Airbus and Bombardier, as well as the Government of Québec. It remains subject to regulatory approvals, but completion is currently expected for the second half of 2018.

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Identifying global sourcing as one of its leading long-term objectives, Airbus aims to source 40% of its supplies outside Western Europe by 2020, and has formed an integrated Airbus Global Sourcing Network to promote the globalisation of its sourcing footprint. At the last count, it was reckoned that around 46,500 suppliers from more than 100 countries deliver parts, components or sub-systems to Airbus. In the past few years, the supply chain has become concentrated and more international, as a result of consolidation within Europe's aerospace and defence sector, and major new aircraft programmes placing larger work packages with a smaller number of lead suppliers. A long-haul aircraft comprises around 4 million individual parts, of which 70– 80 per cent are provided by external suppliers. The material requirements and ordering processes are equally complex, and need to be closely coordinated. Airbus has developed the online sourcing tool ePROC to enhance collaboration

between buyers and suppliers. This is a shared single strategic space for buyers and suppliers across all Airbus divisions to perform all aspects of calls for tender, from the identification of potential suppliers to the selection of successful parties. The tool also allows buyers and suppliers to exchange requirements and proposals online during the bid process. In 2013, SupplyOn, a global provider of web-based solutions for supply chain management (SCM) in the manufacturing industry, completed the integration of around 600 suppliers with its AirSupply solution, which provides support for the collaborative supply chain management processes between customers and suppliers typically found in the aerospace industry. The solution supports foresighted capacity planning, interactive fine tuning of delivery quantities and delivery dates, order and delivery status tracking, as well as the consumption-controlled logistics concept vendor managed inventory. The shared AirSupply industry platform optimizes not only the

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working relationship between the manufacturer and suppliers but also communication with suppliers in the downstream supply chain. The resulting end-to-end data flow over several levels of the supply chain creates more stable supply chains by permitting early identification of and reaction to impending shortages. As the performance of suppliers is key for the success of everyone involved, Airbus is continuously developing its supplier base, focusing on partnerships with the best suppliers in terms of quality, time and cost. Suppliers for direct procurement can be grouped into three commodity clusters: systems & equipment, aerostructures and material. Each division has its own procurement function in charge of direct procurement. Indirect procurement of goods and services, ranging from buildings to machines and tools, engineering services, consulting, IT and office equipment, is under the responsibility of the shared service unit Airbus General Procurement (GP).


“At the last count, it was reckoned that around 46,500 suppliers from more than 100 countries deliver parts, components or sub-systems to Airbus”

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A380 cockpit

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Global production

As well as the external supply chain, every Airbus jetliner is the product of highly efficient cooperation across the company’s own global manufacturing chain, too. Airbus employs a network of regional facilities for design, engineering and manufacture throughout Europe and North America, with additional sites in India and China. At Airbus sites around the world, the application of lean manufacturing – which focuses on achieving the highest throughput with the least inventory – has shortened leadtimes and improved the efficiency of products and processes. On a larger scale, this approach has also led to standardization of parts and components. In the early years, primary production responsibilities for the A300 were distributed throughout Europe based on capabilities within the Airbus network. France’s expertise in systems integration, instrumentation and human-machine interface resulted in the country’s

responsibility for the forward fuselage, cockpit and flight control systems, and it also produced the lower centre fuselage section. The British were well-known for their capabilities in wing design, and were therefore given duties for the new jetliner’s wings. Germany’s strength in manufacturing and processes resulted in the company’s assignment to build the forward and rear fuselage ‘barrel’ sections, along with the upper portion of the centre fuselage, while Spain was chosen for the horizontal tailplane. The emphasis on cooperation continued with each Airbus jetliner programme that followed, from the best-selling A320 Family to the company’s 21st century flagship A380 and the next-generation A350 XWB. Throughout the product line’s development, responsibilities within Airbus’ own production network have evolved to reflect the evolution of technology and materials, manufacturing processes and the expertise of each Airbus-operated facility.

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“At Airbus sites around the world, the application of lean manufacturing has shortened lead-times and improved the efficiency of products and processes”

AIRBUS UP FOR THE CHALLENGE The newest Airbus final assembly line, in Toulouse, France, builds the A350 XWB. Conceived with ecoefficiency in mind, this 74,000-square metre factory houses the initial stages of final assembly for the A350 XWB, involving the join-up of fuselage and wings. A streamlined aircraft assembly process for the A350 allows teams to work in parallel, reducing the time from start of final assembly to aircraft delivery by 30 per cent. Toulouse is also the home to Airbus’ A380 assembly line – a massive 490 metre-long by 250-metre facility that provides 150,000 square metres of assembly area for the flagship doubledeck jetliner. Also in France, the Saint-Nazaire plant specialises in structural assembly, equipping and testing of front and central fuselage sections for the entire Airbus family. It receives sub-assemblies to be fitted for the forward fuselage for the A320 family, the forward and central fuselage for the A330 and A380 families, and the nose fuselage for the A350 XWB. Saint-Nazaire is also in charge of equipping and testing these sections before delivering them to various final assembly lines.

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Another French facility in Nantes specialises in the manufacture and assembly of the centre wing boxes for all Airbus aircraft, and is a leader in the manufacture of carbon fibre reinforced plastic structural parts – such as the A350 XWB keel beam. Nantes is also responsible for manufacturing the radomes for the entire Airbus family, the ailerons for the A330 and A380 families and air inlets for the A350 XWB, A380 families and A320neo. In the UK, the Filton site near Bristol is responsible for wing design, landing gear and fuel systems design and testing, as well as manufacturing of components. Located in North Wales, the Airbus site in Broughton assembles wings for the entire family of commercial aircraft, producing

over 1,000 wings per year. Its activities include wing skin milling, stringer manufacture, full wing equipping and wing box assembly. The company’s Bremen site in Germany is responsible for design and manufacture of high-lift systems for the wings on all Airbus aircraft. Wings for the A330 and A350 XWB are delivered to Bremen from the plant in Broughton in the UK. Also in Germany, Airbus’ Hamburg site manages structural assembly and outfitting of fuselage sections, as well as final assembly for A320 family aircraft. This plant is also home to Airbus' A380 major component assembly hall – which houses the structural assembly, equipping of the forward and complete rear fuselage sections, along with cabin

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furnishing, painting and delivery to customers in Europe and the Middle East. In addition, the Hamburg plant manufactures and equips the rear fuselage sections for Airbus’ A330 and A350 XWB programmes. The vertical tail planes of all Airbus aircraft are produced at Stade in Germany. The site also makes other carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) components –For the A350 XWB, this site produces the upper wing shell, along with the jetliner’s vertical tail plane and CFRP fuselage shells. All the electronic communications and cabin management systems needed by both crew and passengers are designed and produced at the Buxtehude site in Germany. They include the cabin intercommunication data system used to control cabin

AIRBUS UP FOR THE CHALLENGE “Located in North Wales, the Airbus site in Broughton assembles wings for the entire family of commercial aircraft, producing over 1,000 wings per year”

functions, and the passenger service units for passenger seating system controls. Getafe, in central Spain, specialises in aeronautical component engineering, design, production and assembly. The plant is the delivery centre for final assembly lines in Toulouse and Hamburg for all programmes with the exception of the A380 – a role it shares with the Puerto Real plant in Cádiz. Getafe uses metallic material and advanced composite materials to manufacture the fuselage for all Airbus aircraft and specialises in the final assembly and testing of all horizontal tail planes; rear fuselage and tail cone of the A380 and rear fuselage of the A350 XWB. Getafe is also responsible for the A380’s main landing gear doors. Airbus’ Illescas site manufactures composite aeronautical components, including stabilisers, rudders and spars, sections of rear fuselage and landing gear components for the A380, sections of the rear fuselage and internal skin of the wing for the Airbus A350 XWB. Located in the south of Spain, Puerto Real specialises in automated assembly of movable surfaces (rudders and spars) for all Airbus jetliner programmes. It is also responsible for final equipment and delivery to the final assembly line of large, complex structural components – such as the horizontal tail plane and belly fairing of the A380 fuselage, and produces the horizontal tail plane boxes of the A350 XWB.

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R O F G N I K O e u O L a uniq R E N T R A P From the Airbus-Bombardier advanced CS-300 airliner to the A320-A330-A340-A350 and A380 airbus family YOU CAN TRUST OUR SISTER COMPANIES AEROSPACE










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The maiden flight of the Airbus A3501000, the longer-fuselage version of the A350 XWB, took place in November 2016 from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in southwest France. Major structural sub-assemblies are brought to The Roger Béteille A350 XWB final assembly line from other plants in France, Spain, Germany and the UK, which specialise in their particular piece of the structure. The last 40 years have seen continual growth of the Airbus family and a new era of airline travel started in 2007 when the 600-plus-seat A380 began commercial operation. The double-deck A380 is the largest commercial aircraft flying today, capable of carrying 544 passengers in a comfortable four-class configuration, and up to a staggering 853 in a singleclass configuration.

By incorporating the latest advances in structures and materials, the A380 offers the lowest cost per seat of any widebody aircraft, over 15 per cent lower than its nearest competitor. This includes the use of advanced aluminium alloys for the wing and fuselage, along with the extensive application of composite materials in the centre wing box’s primary structure, wing ribs and rear fuselage section.

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With a new wing design and composite materials accounting for 25 per cent of its structural weight, the A380 is a very efficient aircraft. By producing only about 75 grams of CO2 per passenger kilometre, the A380 contributes to the aviation industry's commitment to minimise greenhouse gas emissions.


The various structures which eventually come together to build an aircraft can start their manufacturing processes in many different parts of the world. Bringing them all together is an industry in itself – and as aircraft get larger, transporting the wings and fuselage becomes a logistical challenge. Airbus has developed its own air transportation system to carry many of the pre-assembled sections from their production locations to final assembly lines in Toulouse and Hamburg - a fleet of five A300-600ST Super Transporters. These modified A300-600s, nicknamed Beluga (after the whale), have a bulbous main-deck cargo cabin, which enables the loading of complete fuselage sections and wings. The Super Transporters have been

in operation since 1996, but in order to support increasing production rates, Airbus is refreshing the fleet with a new model, BelugaXL, with a mid-2019 service entry. Built as a replacement for the current Beluga A300-600ST, the BelugaXL is derived from the larger and more powerful A330-200, which is six metres longer, one metre wider, and boasts a payload lifting capacity that is six tonnes greater than its predecessor. Crucially, a BelugaXL will be able to carry two wings for the new widebody A350 XWB, instead of a single wing currently accommodated on the BelugaST. The first large panels for the rear section of the BelugaXL arrived at the final assembly facility in Toulouse in April this year, following a five night long road convoy from Aernnova’s

factory in Berantevilla, north eastern Spain. The delivery of the first nose section, however, from Méaulte in northern France, was appropriately performed by one of the five BelugaSTs currently in operation. Airbus continues to invest in improvements across its product line – including development of the A320neo (new engine option) version, the A330neo variant and more. The company’s international production network has also been significantly expanded over the years, highlighted by its single-aisle final assembly line in Tianjin, China, along with the Airbus US Manufacturing Facility for A320 family jetliners in Mobile, Alabama – which commenced aircraft deliveries in 2016, and is now planning an expansion to accommodate the Bombardier C-Series.

“A BelugaXL will be able to carry two wings for the new widebody A350 XWB, instead of a single wing currently accommodated on the BelugaST”

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“Airbus employs a network of regional facilities for design, engineering and manufacture throughout Europe and North America, with additional sites in India and China”

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Rotorcraft innovation

As with conventional aircraft, Airbus is committed to setting new standards in the helicopter industry, both by improving the existing range to offer safer, greener and more efficient helicopters, and by coming up with ground-breaking ideas in response to the challenges of the 21st century. One of these is Racer, a high-speed helicopter demonstrator currently being developed as part of the Clean Sky 2 research programme. Unveiled in June at the Paris air show, Racer (rapid and cost-effective rotorcraft) incorporates a host

of innovative features. It will be optimised for a cruise speed of more than 400 km/h, aiming to achieve the best trade-off between speed, cost-efficiency, sustainability and mission performance by combining fixed wings for energy efficient lift, propellers (lateral rotors) for energy-efficient propulsion and a main rotor that provides energyefficient VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) flight capabilities. The Racer demonstrator will also benefit from a hybrid metallic-composite airframe, specifically designed for low weight

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and low recurring costs. The aircraft targets missions requiring the helicopter’s unique hovering and landing capabilities but for which travel time is either of vital importance (emergency medical transport, search and rescue) or contributing highly to mission efficiency (passenger transport in the O&G industry, private and business aviation, etc). Development of the demonstrator relies on a wide European network of almost 40 industrial partners. Final assembly is expected to start in 2019, with a first flight the following year.


“Hybrid propulsion or all electric propulsion aircraft are providing the stimulus to transform how we travel”

Electric avenue

Airbus continuously invests in new technologies to make aircraft safer, more reliable, cheaper to operate, more environmentally friendly and for the passenger, provide a more convenient and enjoyable travel experience. Electrification is a major driver for the future of flight. Some of the key technologies in electric propulsion systems, such as electric machines (motors, generators), power electronics (converters, inverters, rectifiers), and battery systems, have seen their energy density, power density and recurring cost improve significantly over the past decade. The fact that electric motors are less costly and less heavy means they are potentially much easier to integrate into an aircraft, whether that is a completely new design or an older design that could now realise its potential. For instance, it is much easier to hinge an electric cable than a rigid fuel pipe — along with the fact

that from an electromagnetic point of view an electric motor doesn’t care which orientation it is in — means tilt-wing VTOL aircraft start to become more interesting. These aircraft types can have a similar take-off and landing performance to a helicopter but, because of the improved ratio between lift and drag during cruise, they can have a cruise speed and range equivalent to a fixed wing aircraft. Hybrid propulsion or all electric propulsion aircraft are providing the stimulus to transform how we travel. Airbus imagines a world where electric vehicles can lift off from the ground in a similar way to drones and transport people or goods across towns, cities and borders; where medical emergencies can have equipment and meds routed to them as the crow flies instead of around gridlocked city routes; where aircraft are in communication with each other and can choose the most efficient flight path to a disaster zone to drop

vital supplies, medics or equipment. Airbus announced $39.7 billion worth of new business during the 2017 Paris Air Show, with firm orders for 144 aircraft and MoUs for 182 others. “Our commercial success at Paris extends our already diversified order backlog to a new industry record of over 6,800 aircraft, with 326 orders worth $40 billion,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft. Sales of the A320 Family were dominant, with 132 firm orders worth $14.7 billion, and MoUs for 174 aircraft worth $19.1 billion. In the wide body segment, Airbus won business for 20 aircraft worth $5.9 billion, comprising 12 firm orders worth $3.6 billion and MoUs for eight aircraft worth $2.3 billion. Next year is Farnborough’s turn, then Paris again in 2019. We may not see orders for electric aircraft just yet, but it will be fascinating to see how orders for the C-Series affect these figures.

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Airbus Helicopters H160

A new chapter in helicopter design Carbon fibre reinforced PEEK prepreg rotor hub developed with Airbus Helicopters. Airbus Helicopters, a division of the Airbus Group providing civil and military helicopter solutions, has developed the H160 helicopter as the first new member of the H generation of civil aircraft. First unveiled at the Heli-Expo, Florida in March 2015, the H160 is currently undergoing its flight test program, with planned service entry in 2018. The H160 is a medium duty, twin-engine helicopter, with a capacity of 12 passengers, designed for operations in sectors such as oil & gas, air ambulance and coast guard roles as well as private business aviation services. Airbus Helicopters aims to offer clients more performance, safety and comfort with the new 160 as well as improving the overall cost effectiveness and operating efficiency. One of the key factors in delivering these requirements is a significant increase in the usage of composite materials in the H160 program.

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The H160 is the first civil helicopter to use a full composite material airframe structure, providing massive weight savings as well as producing a tough and more robust aircraft. Another key component, Airbus Helicopters’ proven Spheriflex bearingless main rotor hub, has been enhanced with the introduction of a unique thermoplastic composite technology developed with Porcher Industries.

Innovative thermoplastic composite solutions

Airbus Industries had previously introduced composite materials in its main rotor hubs with the Starflex hub, which used a thermoset resin based composite in place of the traditional metallic component. With the H160 being a completely new design from nose-to-tail, every component was evaluated and the target for the new rotor hub was to reduce weight, improve long

term performance and optimize damage tolerance. A thermoplastic composite solution, and in particular a PEEK resin matrix, was selected as it provided significantly higher toughness and long term resistance to fatigue in the finished part. Another significant benefit of using a thermoplastic composite is that components can be recycled more easily at the end of their life, helping to meet environmental and sustainability targets for the program. PEEK composites also exhibit particularly high resistance to aviation fuel, hydraulic oil and other common flight service fluids, further reducing the maintenance requirements for the main rotor hub. With the engineering design completed and resin matrix selected, the next challenge for Porcher Industries was to finalize the high temperature impregnation process, to ensure precise control of the mechanical properties of the finished carbon fibre reinforced prepreg. Porcher’s cutting-edge expertise in processing specific carbon fibres, and its ability to carefully control fibre sizing, allowed it to optimize the prepreg interface bonding and mechanical performance.

Test sections and prototype parts were subjected to a detailed set of mechanical tests which lead into a very stringent program of extended fatigue testing and monitoring. Happily, the Porcher Industries carbon fibre PEEK prepreg passed with flying colours, meeting the quality requirements of this safety critical application and receiving the green light for production by Airbus Helicopters. Thanks to the success of this partnership with Airbus Helicopters, the next generation of high performance thermoplastic composite parts for structural applications in aerospace is already under development. Porcher Industries is confident that this technology will also be applicable in other market sectors such as the automotive industry, and is looking forward to further challenging thermoplastic prepreg projects in the future.

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UTC Aerospace systems Accelerating innovation When customers apply pressure to improve performance and cut costs, and regulators impose ever increasing environmental constraints, the aviation industry relies on innovation to square the circle. Martin Ashcroft examines how UTC Aerospace tackles the problem.

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eadquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, UTC Aerospace Systems was formed by its parent company United Technologies Corporation in August 2012 by the combination of Goodrich Corporation and Hamilton Sundstrand. The company is now one of the world’s largest suppliers of aerospace and defence products, with approximately 160 sites operating in 25 countries, with 50 per cent of its sites outside the United States. Although the Goodrich name was associated with tyres for many years, the tyre brand was sold to Michelin in 1988. Goodrich set about expanding its presence in aerospace with the acquisition of the aerostructures manufacturer Rohr in 1997. Other acquisitions followed, including Coltec Industries (1999), the Charlotte, North Carolina-based landing gear manufacturer, and TRW Aeronautical Systems in 2002. Goodrich itself was acquired by United Technologies Corporation in 2011, by which time its product range included aerostructures, actuation and landing systems and electronic systems (sensors, engine

“UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) is now engaged in the design, manufacture and service of systems and components for commercial, regional, business and military aircraft, helicopters and other platforms” control and electrical power systems and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance [ISR] systems). Meanwhile, in 1999, United Technologies Corporation had also acquired the Sundstrand Corp, merging it with the UTC subsidiary Hamilton Standard to form Hamilton Sundstrand. With roots dating back to the founding of the Sundstrand Corp in 1905 and Hamilton Standard

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in 1910, Hamilton Sunstrand became one of the largest global suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and industrial products with three major businesses, Aircraft Systems, Industrial and Energy, and Space and Defense. This then became UTC Aerospace Systems after the Goodrich acquisition in 2012. UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) is now engaged in the design, manufacture and service of systems and components for commercial, regional, business and military aircraft, helicopters and other platforms. Its customers include the original equipment manufacturers of aircraft and helicopters, engine manufacturers, airlines, defense agencies and contractors. UTAS is also a major supplier to international space programs. With such a diversity of customers and capabilities, UTC Aerospace Systems makes an astonishing number of products. A list of what it doesn’t make would probably use less paper than a catalogue of its systems and components. These can be found on every commercial aircraft from Airbus

utc aerospace systems accelerating innovation

“The company’s systems and components can be found on every commercial aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, including the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner” and Boeing, including the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. In addition, the company builds and develops advanced systems for the latest aircraft like the Airbus A350 XWB, Boeing 737 MAX, Bombardier C-Series and Comac C919. UTC Aerospace Systems also caters for the needs of both jet and turboprop regional aircraft and the business segment, from high-speed corporate jets to workhorse crop duster aircraft, with products ranging from nacelles systems and deicing systems, to propeller systems, engine controls and fuel systems, as well as landing gear, custom lighting and interior finishes, crew seats and power management systems. Its customers in these sectors include major business and regional aircraft manufacturers such as ATR, Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault, Embraer, Gulfstream, Hawker Beechcraft, Mitsubishi, Piper and Sukhoi. In the military field, UTC Aerospace Systems equips air, ground and naval platforms, both manned and unmanned, and its products can be found on some of the most important military platforms in service today, such as the Airbus A400M, Boeing C-17, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed

Martin F-35, Northrop Grumman Global Hawk and the Virginiaclass submarine. Its diverse product array includes sensors the size of a thumbnail that can see in almost any condition, to lightweight landing gear strong enough to withstand carrier landings. UTC Aerospace Systems is also a leading provider of advanced products and systems for commercial and military helicopters, with products including fly-by-wire flight controls, vehicle health management systems, rescue hoists, engine control systems and transmission systems for manufacturers like Agusta Westland,

Bell, Boeing, Eurocopter, MD Helicopters and Sikorsky. The company is also involved in the development and production of advanced technologies for space and defence markets. It has wide ranging expertise, with products from space suits to low-cost satellites, space telescope optics and multispectral sensors that fly on stealthy aircraft. Other key products include missile guidance and actuation systems, tiny cameras that see through smoke and fog, and complex software systems that process intelligence data and deliver it in real-time to commanders in the field.

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Composite materials

Innovation in aerospace takes many forms, but the materials used to construct aircraft are among the most fundamental. The airframes of the first airplanes were made of wood, covered with canvas. To make them go faster and higher, metal took over from wood, but composite materials are now rapidly replacing metal because they have been developed to be lighter, stronger, more durable and require less maintenance. In essence, a composite material is made from two or more constituent materials which, on their own, do not possess the properties required for use on an aircraft. When carbon fibres are locked into place with a plastic resin, however, then built up in multiple integrated layers and bonded, the airframe component has the strength and load-bearing properties that make it ideal for aviation use. Crompton Technology Group (CTG), a UTC Aerospace Systems company based in Banbury in the UK, is a leader in the design, development and manufacture of advanced composite products and systems for the aerospace industry. Specialising in filament winding, the company has established an international reputation for its innovation, quality and successful development of composite solutions across a wide spectrum, including composite pipes and isolators, transmission shafts, and structural aircraft tie rods and struts. Now occupying a brand new 137,000 square foot Composite Centre of Excellence, opened in 2013, CTG became part of UTC Aerospace Systems when UTC acquired Goodrich in 2012. Goodrich had taken over CTG in 2010. The new facility has united CTG’s existing six sites into one location, giving it at the same time an overall footprint increase of more than 90 per cent. The move enables CTG

to manufacture advanced composite products and systems in volume quantities more effectively across a range of high technology industries. The layout was designed using lean principles which focus on material

flow and flexibility. Layout of the production area has been planned using value stream envelopes, enabling wasted space to be reduced by more than 30 per cent and linkage and flow improved by 50 per cent in comparison to the old sites. The factory is very open and there is a clear line of sight which links easily with the offices to promote a culture of one united workforce. In June of this year CTG was chosen to lead an industry consortium in a UK Government-led initiative to develop new composite materials for aviation use. The consortium also includes the National Composites Centre (NCC) and the National Composites Certification and Evaluation Facility (NCCEF) at the University of Manchester, as well as the machine builder Cygnet Texkimp, which has been awarded a grant of £200k to develop machinery to manufacture lighter, stronger materials and parts for the international aerospace market.

“In June of this year CTG was chosen to lead an industry consortium in a UK Government-led initiative to develop new composite materials for aviation use” The project is being driven by the need for manufacturers and their suppliers to meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations governing aerospace traffic and deliver more energy efficient aircraft. Technologies developed as part of the project will be used to develop composite products including actuators, tie rods and struts. “Our Composite Centre of Excellence is testament to the demand and drive for carbon fibre in aerospace,” said Stevens Francfort, Project Manager at CTG. “This exciting project is an opportunity for CTG to demonstrate our filament-winding expertise, and in doing so bolster our position at

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the forefront of this market, as the carbon fibre supplier of choice. We are on course to open an incredible amount of possible new applications, which will support the development of a new generation of aircraft that are more respectful to the environment and comply with stringent FAA regulations.”

Nacelles expansion

While acquisitions have given UTC Aerospace Systems a significant global footprint in the industry, there has been organic growth, too. In August this year, in response to rising customer demand for its nacelle systems, the company unveiled a new 80,000-square foot manufacturing and nacelle assembly facility at its awardwinning campus in Foley, Alabama. A nacelle system is the aerodynamic structure that surrounds a jet engine. It includes the structure commonly referred to as engine cowling, and also encompasses other components such as the inlet cowl, fan cowl, thrust reverser, core cowl and exhaust system. As the world’s leading supplier of nacelle systems, UTC Aerospace Systems Aerostructures constantly invests in critical research and development activities, such as advanced design, new material systems and manufacturing processes. These lightweight technologies are capable of making aircraft more environmentally friendly through increased fuel efficiency and significantly reduced engine noise. The new facility at Foley is expected to add 250 jobs, increasing the workforce to over 1,000 employees. It will feature a range of innovative manufacturing technology, including automated material movement to index large nacelle component platforms down the assembly line, an overhead rail system with vacuum lifts and an automated painting system. These new advanced manufacturing systems, which have been piloted at other UTC Aerospace Systems' Aerostructures sites around the world, will greatly increase the efficiency of operations required to assemble and paint nacelle systems, as well as provide ergonomic benefits for employees. The new building is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the US Green Building Council, and features a sanitation system that

incorporates rainwater collection. As the third manufacturing building on the Foley campus, it will serve as a complement to the site's existing 230,000-square foot original equipment plant and 210,000-square foot MRO facility. The Foley site assembles nacelles for integration with the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engine for a number of aircraft platforms, including the Airbus A320neo, Bombardier C Series, Mitsubishi Regional Jet and Embraer E-Jet E2. Pratt & Whitney, of course, is also a UTC company. At the end of October, a milestone was reached with the delivery of the 100th podded propulsion system (a nacelle system integrated with an engine) from Foley to the Airbus final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama. The Foley plant began podding propulsion systems for the Airbus A320ceo (current engine option) in late 2015. The milestone nacelle was podded with a CFM56 engine for an Airbus A321 for Delta Air Lines. Aerostructures was selected by Airbus in 2011 to provide the full nacelle systems for the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM that will power the A320neo (new engine option) for the life of the program. Podding for those engines is currently taking place at other Aerostructures facilities located near Airbus final assembly lines in Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany and Tianjin, China. Globally, the Aerostructures business has invested more than $500 million to build or expand six company sites in support of the A320neo nacelle industrial rampup for the life of the airplane program. The Foley plant was recognized as one of six Best Plants in North America by IndustryWeek in early 2017, and at the 2017 Paris Air Show, the Aerostructures business received the Airbus Supplier Support Rating for exceptional aftermarket support of airplanes.


Where acquisition is inappropriate, partnerships with other industry leaders can deliver strategic advantages. In June this year, at the Paris Air Show, UTC Aerospace Systems announced a collaborative effort with Northrop Grumman Corporation to launch a new era of coordinated technology development. The two companies will align their technology investments on key

utc aerospace systems accelerating innovation

products and systems in order to develop and deliver advanced, affordable technologies to their joint customers. "This is the beginning of a shared vision built on customer needs, where we can create great value by aligning our efforts,” said Dave Gitlin, President, UTC Aerospace Systems. “This is all about accelerating innovation." In January this year UTC Aerospace Systems signed a strategic supply and distribution agreement with VAS Aero Services, a global leader in aviation logistics and aftermarket services, to improve parts availability to meet growing customer demand. "This agreement enables us to provide our customers with more comprehensive, cost-effective options for servicing mature aircraft through an expanded inventory of nearly 1 million high-volume parts," said Ajay Agrawal, Vice President, Aftermarket, UTC Aerospace Systems. "As a leading OEM, we're in the best position to help our customers receive aftermarket aircraft parts that are certified to meet our exacting quality standards." VAS Aero Services’ inventory of in-demand parts is expected to translate to cost savings and improved efficiencies for UTC Aerospace Systems’ customers. Both companies have a global footprint with warehouses and distribution centres strategically positioned close to customers, allowing for quick turnaround and timely delivery of parts. 

“A milestone was reached with the delivery of the 100th podded propulsion system from Foley to the Airbus final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama” At the Farnborough Air Show in July 2016, UTC Aerospace Systems - Electric Systems signed a memorandum of understanding with GKN Aerospace’s Fokker Technologies business unit to develop electrical integrated solutions for More Electric Aircraft (MEA). Both parties complement each other by bringing together their expertise on electric systems and electrical wiring interconnection systems (EWIS). Both companies have a proven track record and leading positions in their technical domains. UTC Aerospace Systems - Electric Systems is a specialist in electrical power generation, distribution and control for commercial and military aircraft. GKN Aerospace is a leader in the design and manufacture of EWIS. The two companies will work together on collaborative integrated research, development and design of optimized electrical integrated solutions.

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Striving for Excellence

Aeronamic designed the APU Load Compressor and is the exclusive manufacturer and maintenance provider of this system for the US Air Force Boeing KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tanker.

For the F-35 Lightning II Aeronamic supplies the revolutionary APU starter/generator; an essential part of the Power & Thermal Management System.

Our business is the design, production, testing and repair & overhaul of highly complex turbo machinery, motor driven systems and critical high-precision components for the aerospace industry. Focussing on the technology development for next generation electrical machines and electronic control units we achieve low weight, low manufacturing cost and high reliability.

Planthofsweg 79, 7601 PJ Almelo, The Netherlands +31 546 545 570 -

utc aerospace systems accelerating innovation


UTC employs its operating system Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) to foster a culture of continuous improvement, so it can achieve the highest levels of performance in every process, from developing new products to finding better ways to serve its customers. ACE has three elements: culture, tools and competency. The daily interaction of each element is what makes it an operating system. Results focus on perfect quality, on-time delivery, highly engaged employees working in a safe environment, and best-in-class financial returns. Supplier performance is an essential element of the strategy to develop a world-class, integrated supply chain, and supply chain management, process improvements and value engineering are the key elements of this strategy. The UTC approach to value engineering includes reducing product cost as well as reducing the cost of

“Suppliers demonstrate process improvements through the use of the UTC Supplier Gold quality program, ACE and lean manufacturing principles”

doing business and associated nonvalue-added activities. Supply chain management includes consolidation of the supply base, selection of preferred suppliers, global sourcing, supplier quality and development, and implementation of robust business agreements. All UTC companies therefore work closely as partners with their suppliers, providing them with the resources to ensure excellence, including access to the ACE operating system for quality and continuous improvement. Suppliers are critical business partners,

expected to meet UTC’s expectations for business practices, environmental responsibility and operational excellence, and to demonstrate the same high standards for quality, delivery, cost and customer satisfaction that UTC places on itself. Suppliers demonstrate process improvements through the use of the UTC Supplier Gold quality program, ACE and lean manufacturing principles. The Supplier Gold program is a key component of sustained supplier performance. Achieving UTC Supplier Gold is a distinction that brings suppliers considerable benefits and recognition, not least of which are the improvements in operating performance that enable further growth. Suppliers also gain recognition across the Group, as the UTC Supply Management Council – comprising the vice president of Supply Management from each of UTC’s businesses – is engaged in the Gold certification process.

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The Taiwan-based Asian Compressor Technology Services Company Limited (ACTS), currently being taken over by the Scottish group MB Aerospace, has been operating at UTC Supplier Gold status for over five years. This status is an attractive asset for any potential acquisition target. Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, a leading global developer, manufacturer and supplier of precision seals and bearings, announced last year that its Colmar Aerospace Hub East had been awarded UTC Supplier Gold status. The announcement revealed the Supplier Gold program requires suppliers to achieve such performance objectives as: • Zero escapes (quality rejections) for the last 12 months, •

100% on-time deliveries for the last 12 months.

A score of six or greater for customer satisfaction (out of seven)

A score of 80% or greater on the Supplier Health Assessment in all categories, plus zero gold question gaps.

“The company also develops advanced technologies for space and defence markets, with products from space suits to low-cost satellites, missile guidance and actuation systems, space telescope optics and multispectral sensors that fly on stealthy aircraft”

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine


utc aerospace systems accelerating innovation

“Together, Rockwell Collins and UTC Aerospace Systems will enhance customer value in a rapidly evolving aerospace industry by making aircraft more intelligent and more connected”

L&T Technology Services, headquartered in India, was conferred with the prestigious UTC Supplier Gold title in 2016, after earning UTC Aerospace Systems’ annual Global Engineering Productivity Improvement Award. Dr. Keshab Panda, CEO and Managing Director of L&T Technology Services acknowledged the role his customer had played in his own company’s development. “UTC has continuously guided us through deep engagement in innovation that has helped establish us as the engineering services provider of choice for our customers.” Speaking on the impressive performance, Natalia Khandros, Strategic Sourcing Manager, Global Engineering at UTC Aerospace Systems said, “UTAS Engineering always strives to advance our products capabilities and deploys innovative ideas to improve products and processes. Our suppliers help us to be successful and their ability to be creative and innovative helps with our success as well. L&T Technology Services had an exceptional performance in 2014 and delivered the highest percentage in productivity improvements. Their dedication to creativity and out of the box thinking delivered 6.4% in productivity improvement. This is a great accomplishment and UTAS

Engineering is grateful to have such a strong partner in L&T Technology Services.”

One more acquisition

In September this year United Technologies announced an agreement to acquire Rockwell Collins, recognized for its leading-edge avionics, flight controls, aircraft interior and data connectivity solutions for commercial and military customers. "This acquisition adds tremendous

“We are on course to open an incredible amount of possible new applications, which will support the development of a new generation of aircraft that are more respectful to the environment and comply with stringent FAA regulations” capabilities to our aerospace businesses and strengthens our complementary offerings of technologically advanced aerospace systems," said UTC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Greg Hayes. "Together, Rockwell Collins and UTC Aerospace Systems will enhance customer value in a rapidly evolving aerospace industry by making aircraft more intelligent and more connected." The purchase price implies a total equity value of $23 billion and a total transaction value of $30 billion, including Rockwell Collins' net debt. The transaction is projected to close by the third quarter of 2018, subject to approval by Rockwell Collins' shareowners, as well as other customary closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals. This latest deal will be both a game changer and a name changer, as upon completion of the transaction, Rockwell Collins and UTC Aerospace Systems will be integrated to create a new business unit named Collins Aerospace Systems. Kelly Ortberg, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rockwell Collins, will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer. "We have demonstrated we can successfully integrate large acquisitions into our business and I have full confidence that the team has the capability to do it again," said Greg Hayes. "Once we have completed the integration of Rockwell Collins and made progress towards reducing leverage back to historical levels, we will have an opportunity to explore a full range of strategic options for UTC."

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine  77


From design to delivery, we seal the global aerospace industry

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions is one of the world’s leading developers, manufacturers and suppliers of seals to the aerospace industry. We are uniquely placed to offer a dedicated seal design and development service to the aerospace market locally through our global network of engineering and manufacturing facilities. BENEFITS OF PARTNERING WITH TRELLEBORG SEALING SOLUTIONS: • A complete polymer sealing range for the aerospace industry • Proven-engineering excellence – servicing all major aerospace programs • Industry-leading design and materials expertise • Best practice manufacturing • Customized distribution capabilities – direct line feed, subassembly and kitting • Aftermarket expertise • 24-hour worldwide support • Full service provision – design concept to aftermarket support



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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine  

Issue 7. Cover Story: BAE Systems

Aviation Manufacturer Magazine  

Issue 7. Cover Story: BAE Systems