/ October '16

New ATI-funded project led by Airbus is announced by Minister for Industry & Energy

Posted by jwarehand

Jesse Norman MP, Minister for Industry and Energy, today announced a new £19.2 million project led by Airbus – with over £9 million of funding from government, supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) – to develop new methods for aircraft wing design by harnessing the power of the latest computing technology.

The project, Advanced Product Concept Analysis Environment (APROCONE), will develop a highly-productive collaborative design environment and associated methodologies that will mean wings and engines can be designed more innovatively and quickly to meet future market and environmental needs.

The announcement was made during a visit by Jesse Norman to the Airbus facility in Filton, Bristol.

Jesse Norman said, “Aerospace is a great UK success story. We are number one in Europe and world leaders in innovation, design and manufacturing plants and much of this great work is done right here in the South West.

“Today’s announcement shows how government and industry can work together and this government is committed to developing a comprehensive industrial strategy that will help our aero sector rise to even greater heights.”

Gary Elliott, Chief Executive Officer of the ATI, said: “To meet future market demands, and to fully leverage the range of new novel technologies within the aerospace industry, requires the means to rapidly and reliably integrate these technologies into viable product solutions.

“APROCONE’s advanced design environment will support the conceptual definition and evaluation of complex products, enabling significant improvements to be achieved within the high value design process. It is a fundamental step towards delivering the next generation of aviation products.”

The project will be led by a team from Airbus in Filton, which is a global centre of excellence for wing design, development and testing. Key partners include CFMS, Cranfield University, GKN Aerospace, MSC Software, Rolls-Royce and the University of Cambridge.

Airbus Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams said; “Rapidly developing information systems technologies makes it possible for Airbus to develop a completely new way of designing wings.

“The funding for this project opens the door to increased collaboration and an opportunity to push the boundaries of innovation.”

The UK is world leader in the design, manufacture and integration of wings, and it is a major element of the ATI’s technology strategy – Raising Ambition, announced at Farnborough Air Show in July 2016. The ATI is working closely with industry, and supporting projects such as APROCONE, to reduce the cost and time required to design and produce wings – achieving higher production rates and meeting global competitive pressures.

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Images, from left: Airbus’ futuristic concept plane; an Airbus employee designing wings using today’s technology (© Airbus)