Making future aircraft wings through composites manufacturing
by Siobhan Doyle, March 24th E&T Magazine
The UK’s National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol has opened a new research and development facility that aims to harness the power of new digital technologies – one of which has the potential to build the aircraft wings of the future.
The global market for composites is predicted to be worth $105.8bn (£82.8bn) in 2020 and growing at 6.5 per year. In the UK alone, the value of composites is expected to reach £12.5bn by 2030 as manufacturers seek to make products lighter, stronger and more durable. According to the NCC, the Bristol-based centre ensures that Britain is at the forefront of this fast-growing sector.
“With the most advanced manufacturing facility in Europe, we truly have an unrivalled world-class capability,” said Richard Oldfield, chief executive of the NCC when launching this new phase. “The investment in 10 new world-leading composites capabilities will enable us to develop the wings and engines for the aircraft of the future, work on technologies that will define the way we produce and store energy and transform the way we build infrastructure.”