GKN Aerospace has delivered thermoplastic composite components to Bell Helicopter for installation on V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft.
The components include a pair of thermoplastic composite, induction welded Ruddervators, and two compression-moulded Access Panels manufactured from re-used thermoplastic waste material. Ruddervators are the control surfaces for an aircraft with a V-tail configuration. The Ruddervators and Access Panels are technology demonstrators and are planned for flight testing on the aircraft in 2019. This will make the V-280 one of the first military aircraft flying with thermoplastic components.
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 program.
In parallel to the demonstrator program, the GKN Aerospace global design team supports Bell with further design optimization of the V-Tail. As partner on Bell’s Team Valor, GKN Aerospace has designed and manufactured the complete thermoset composite V-Tail for the Bell V-280 Valor.
John Pritchard CEO GKN Aerospace ASEA says: ’’We are proud to be part of Team Valor and to be selected for the design of the V tail. It is very exciting that our cutting edge thermoplastic technology will be flight tested for the first time on the state-of-the-art V-280 Valor.’’