The UK Composites Industry award for ‘Innovation in Composites Design’ is one of 8 awards made by Composite UK, the trade body for the UK composites industry.
This second award also recognizes the success of the intensive development and production program for the A350 XWB wing spar, with GKN Aerospace engineers working closely with the Airbus engineering team and materials supplier Hexcel throughout. As a result the spar has met demanding weight, strength and flexibility targets.
The 27m long A350 XWB rear wing spar is manufactured in 3 sections and forms the structural heart of the aircraft wing’s fixed trailing edge (FTE), holding vital parts such as the main landing gear. The spar has complex integral contours that enable it to carry precise customer-specified aircraft loads at critical points and yet remain flexible and lightweight.
Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) machine used in GKN
Chris Gear, vice-president chief engineering, GKN Aerospace explained: “Creating the advanced manufacturing processes and materials to manufacture this innovative structure has strengthened the UK’s industrial lead in complex composite structure manufacture. Our partnership with Hexcel on this activity has been particularly rewarding and we believe the new material has immense potential.”
Based on the article “GKN gains further recognition for A350 XWB wing spar“ published in Composites in Manufacturing