GKN Aerospace opens U.K. technology center

GKN Aerospace building.

Image credit: GKN Aerospace

GKN Aerospace (Redditch, UK) hosted an aviation industry forum to celebrate the opening of their new Global Technology Center (GTC) in Bristol, UK. The “Shaping a Sustainable Future of Aviation” event brought together the entire UK aerospace industry.

Speakers at the event included Trevor Higgs, General Manager of Airbus UK (Bristol, UK), Paul Stein, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Rolls Royce (Manchester, UK) and GKN Aerospace’s Chief Executive Officer, David Paja, and John Pritchard, President of GKN Aerospace’s Civilian Business.

In addition to keynote speeches, two panel discussions took place: the first on the topic of “Building a more sustainable and better networked future of flying” and the second on the topic of “Developing the workforce of the future”. An academic section also featured future sustainable aviation solutions proposed by students from Bath, UWE and Bristol Universities, with further academic contributions from Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle Universities.

GKN says its 10,000 square feet The center focuses on sustainable aviation research and development, including hydrogen propulsion technologies, advanced composite structures for electric aircraft, additive manufacturing, and Industry 4.0 processes to enable high-speed production of aircraft structures. The GTC already has the first fully integrated wing, tail unit and electrical wiring systems (EWIS) Eviation (Arlington, Washington, USA) for the Alice fully electric aircraft. The center also serves as the base for GKN Aerospace’s £ 54 million hydrogen propulsion development program H2GEARand hosts GKN Aerospace’s technology partnership in the Airbus Wing of Tomorrow (WOT) technology program.

The GTC was jointly established by GKN Aerospace (£ 17 million) and the UK Government (£ 15 million) through the Institute for Aerospace Technology (Bedford, UK). At full capacity, the collaboration center will accommodate 300 engineers from GKN Aerospace and its partners. It also includes a training center affiliated with Weston College to provide technical skills and support the development of the next generation of aerospace engineers.