in Aerospace / Defence

GKN Aerospace’s thermoplastic components flight tested on Bell V-280 Valor

Posted 3 June 2020 · Add Comment

GKN Aerospace delivered a pair of thermoplastic composite, induction-welded Ruddervators and two compression-moulded Access Panels manufactured from reused thermoplastic waste material to Bell in June last year, with the newly installed components now having flown over 12 hours on V-280 test flights, including during recently completed autonomous flight testing.



Above:
The Bell V-280 Valor.
Courtesy GKN Aerospace

The Bell test pilots were happy with the seamless integration of the newly installed parts, noting that the V-280 continued to exhibit excellent responsiveness through test manoeuvers. This has made the V-280, which recently celebrated completion of its second full year of flight tests, one of the first military aircraft flying successfully with thermoplastic components. 

Ruddervators are the control surfaces for an aircraft with a V-tail configuration. As a partner in Bell’s Team Valor, GKN Aerospace has designed and manufactured the complete thermoset composite V-Tail for the aircraft. The Bell V-280 Valor is competing for selection as the US Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA). The advanced thermoplastic Ruddervators significantly reduce weight, cost and parts count.

“We are always looking across Team Valor for new opportunities to incorporate advanced technology to add value for our customer. GKN Aerospace’s thermoplastic ruddervators are a great example where we were able to add value and reduce risk for future programmes,” said Ryan Ehinger, Vice President and Program Director for FLRAA at Bell.

In parallel to the demonstrator programme, the GKN Aerospace global design team continues to work with Bell to optimise the V-Tail design to meet customer requirements for the FLRAA programme.

The two compression-moulded Access Panels have been manufactured from recycled thermoplastic waste material from the two Ruddervators and have been developed in a Dutch TPC-Cycle research program led by Saxion. GKN Aerospace is a partner in the research programme.

GKN Aerospace is a technology leader in thermoplastic technology with thermoplastic rudders, elevators and fuselage panels flying on a wide range of Business Jets. Injection of this technology on a military platform opens opportunities for wider application in the defence market. Thermoplastics offer significant advantages in terms of weight, costs, production time and environmental impact.

Krisstie Kondrotis, President Defence, GKN Aerospace said: "We are proud to be part of Team Valor and to advance our design work for the Bell V-280 Valor’s V-tail. It is very exciting that our cutting-edge thermoplastic technology is now successfully integrated and flight tested on the state-of-the-art Bell V-280 Valor."

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

UK Space Agency backs Covid-19 testing kit drone deliveries

Drones delivering Covid-19 test kits and a mobile app that uses space-derived data to identify and support vulnerable or elderly people who may be suffering from poverty or loneliness, are among the projects that have been backed by new

Resilient Pilot partners with Aviation Insider

Airline simulator and training specialists, Aviation Insider, have selected Resilient Pilot to provide their free pilot mentoring service.

NP Aerospace opens new Canadian facility

Coventry based armour provider, NP Aerospace, has opened a new facility in London, Ontario, Canada and appointed a General Manager to drive future business growth.

London City Airport resumes flights through Government’s ‘Travel Corridors’

International flights have resumed today from London’s most central airport, as the Government’s ‘Travel Corridors’ policy comes into effect.

Hardide Coatings appoints Rob Holmes as VP Aerospace

Advanced surface coating technology company, Bicester based Hardide Coatings, has appointed Rob Holmes as VP Aerospace as the company targets strategic growth in the aerospace and defence sectors.

Aerospace fuel expert celebrates centenary with student lecture

Dr Eric Goodger, a Cranfield University lecturer for many years following his career as a Cranfield academic, will celebrate his 100th birthday this week with a lecture on his favourite topic, fuels and combustion.

Getac SK2606280920
See us at
DVD 2020