WICHITA, Kan., June 18,
2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Spirit AeroSystems [NYSE: SPR]
announced its role on the Airbus Wing of Tomorrow program,
contributing across four technology projects supporting commercial
aviation applications. Led by efforts at the company's Prestwick,
Scotland, site, Spirit will develop solutions
essential for the fabrication and assembly of leading edges, wing
boxes and lower wing covers.
"Our participation on Wing of Tomorrow marks an
important milestone in our support of Airbus," said Spirit Senior
Vice President, Airbus Programs, Scott McLarty.
"Research and development work like this is key to Spirit's growth
strategy, and we are uniquely positioned to offer customers our
proven ability to both design and build world class aerostructures
such as these."
"Spirit is leveraging its full suite of
Distinctive Capabilities to tackle the
challenge of improving product performance while lowering cost and
compressing technology and product development cycles," said Spirit
AeroSystems Vice President, Research and Technology, Sean
Black, Ph.D. "To accomplish this feat, the projects rely
heavily on modeling and simulation throughout all stages of the
For example, on one of the projects, Spirit is
using cutting-edge composite resin-flow simulation tools to
successfully infuse a seven-meter lower wing cover --
short-circuiting the trial-and-error approach typical for extremely
complex resin infusion processes. The demonstrator is a major step
towards delivering a full-scale, resin-infused lower cover to
Airbus. Spirit continues to leverage and enhance its patented
Intelligent Resin Infusion System (IRISTM) to develop
lower-cost, higher-performing structures.
"These projects are not just about composite
infusion technology," Black said. "Using digital design and
manufacturing approaches, we're developing the product in parallel
with the production system. In collaboration with the National
Composites Centre (Bristol, U.K.) and Advanced Forming
Research Centre (Strathclyde, U.K.), we're also
developing highly automated fabrication and inspection
"In addition, we are implementing significant
advances in fabrication and assembly tooling technologies. In fact,
through applying the Spirit ExactÂ® dimensional
management philosophy, which essentially enables the parts
themselves to become locating tools, we are planning to deliver a
leading edge, to include full systems integration, with very little
assembly tooling. We are leveraging our full Distinctive Capability
portfolio in support of the Wing of Tomorrow objectives."
The projects supporting Wing of Tomorrow are
jointly funded by Spirit and the U.K. Government through the
Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme, in close
collaboration with Airbus, the National Composites Centre, the
Advanced Forming Research Centre and the Advanced Manufacturing
Research Centre. The ATI Programme is managed by the Aerospace
Technology Institute with the U.K.'s Department for Business,
Energy and Industrial Strategy and Innovate U.K.
In addition to Spirit's collaboration with the
U.K. research labs, Spirit announced earlier this year that it has
broken ground on a 70,000 square-foot Aerospace Innovation Centre
at its Prestwick facility. The site's focus on infusion processes
for composite materials, part handling, assembly automation, rapid
prototyping and virtual/augmented reality will all directly support
the company's wing development and industrialization efforts.
On the web: www.spiritaero.com
On Twitter: @SpiritAero
AeroSystemsSpirit AeroSystems designs and builds
aerostructures for both commercial and defense customers. With
headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, Spirit operates sites
in the U.S., U.K., France and Malaysia.
The company's core products include fuselages, pylons, nacelles and
wing components for the world's premier aircraft. Spirit
AeroSystems focuses on affordable, innovative composite and
aluminum manufacturing solutions to support customers around the
globe. More information is available at www.spiritaero.com.
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