What is the new technology in Britain’s aerospace industry?



Britain’s aerospace industry is the second largest in the world. Whilst it does not produce a complete passenger airliner domestically, it nevertheless has the skills and requisite capabilities for designing as well as manufacturing the majority of key components required for building an aircraft. This includes fuel systems, fuselages, wings, flight control surfaces, jet engines, nacelles and landing gear.

Key players in Britain’s aerospace industry

A number of British firms are involved in the manufacture of parts for civil aircraft. For example, Airbus UK has a world-renowned facility at Broughton that designs and manufactures the wings for the Airbus A350 XWB and A380. The Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner has about a quarter of its parts made by British manufacturers such Rolls-Royce which designs and manufactures the engines, Eaton which makes the fuel subsystem pumps, and Messier-Bugatti-Dowty which manufactures the landing gear.

Britain is a major centre for the development of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), with BAE Systems being at the forefront of their production. The company is behind the MANTIS twin-engined UAV and is taking the lead in the ASTRAEA (autonomous systems technology related airborne evaluation and assessment) project, an ambitious and technologically-advanced project to develop the systems that are necessary for flying UAVs in occupied civil airspace.

Another key name in the industry is GKN Aerospace, which is an expert designer and manufacturer of composite and metallic aerostructures. These aerostructures are used in today’s military and civil rotary and fixed wing aircraft. There is also Bombardier, which is the third-largest airline manufacturer in the world. The company was behind the manufacture of the wings used in its new C-Series aircraft.

New technology in use in Britain’s aerospace industry

Britain’s aerospace industry is being driven by new technology. A plan is in place to incorporate the gearbox technology used in Formula 1 racing cars into aerospace engines. Furthermore, the landing gear in jets is set to use electric motors so as to reduce the fuel consumption of aircraft.

Still more new technology to be used in aircraft manufacture includes light electric systems, which will replace the hydraulic systems currently in use. The manufacture of electronics is also set to improve so as to develop systems that are capable of operating in harsh environments. Rolls-Royce will be involved in a project aimed at developing new concepts for engine design.

Sir Nigel Rudd: the new Chairman of Meggit

Sir Nigel Rudd, a leading British businessman, is set to become the non-executive chairman of Meggitt, the defence and aerospace company. This development signals Sir Nigel Rudd’s return to the FTSE 100. Rudd has previously been chairman of the board of BAE Systems as well as of Invensys. He has also served as deputy chairman at Barclays and is currently the non-executive chairman of BBA Aviation and Heathrow Airport Holdings. He aims to continue delivering on the company’s strategy and looks forward to making a significant contribution to the company’s business.

Britain’s aerospace industry has established itself as one of the leading aircraft parts designers and manufacturers in the world. Its continued investment in new technological innovations will only solidify this position for decades to come as a key player in the world market.


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