Representatives from some of the world’s leading aerospace companies are meeting today at Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast to discuss aircraft concepts of the future, prior to taking part in a major international aviation conference this week.
Members of the UK’s national research programme ‘Integrated Wing’, which includes Airbus UK, GKN, General Electric and Bombardier, will be joined at Bombardier’s main design and manufacturing site at Queen’s Island by representatives of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ (AIAA) Conceptual Aircraft Design group.
Bombardier will be sharing its views on future aircraft concepts at the conference, which takes place at Belfast’s Europa Hotel from 18 to 20 September. In conjunction with the AIAA, the conference is being hosted by Queen’s University Belfast, and sponsored by Bombardier and Invest Northern Ireland. Comprising a number of events under the banner ‘Aviation: Industry without Borders’, it will bring together designers, researchers, manufacturers, integrators and operators from around the world to debate aviation needs of the future.
Bombardier will be taking part in a number of sessions, focusing on new technologies being developed to reduce aircraft noise, wing technology design, and digital manufacturing. It will also lead the working group reviewing conceptual aircraft design.
The company is well placed to put forward its ideas for the future of air travel. Its contribution to aerospace research and development within Europe has grown significantly in recent years. It plays a leading role in a range of national and European R&D programmes, such as the Integrated Wing and Environmentally Friendly Engine programmes, and the European ALCAS programme (Advanced Low Cost Aircraft Structures), which involves the development of the next generation of low-cost, lightweight aircraft structures from advanced composite materials.
“Research plays a vital role in helping us develop our technologies and capabilities to enable us to undertake more complex, higher value work, and to address European environmental targets leading to cleaner, more efficient aircraft. R&D is increasingly becoming the backbone of competitiveness, particularly with the emergence of low cost suppliers. The more innovative we can be, the more competitive we can become,” said Michael Ryan, Vice-President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast.
The company is already seeing the benefit of some of its research investment, particularly in the area of advanced composites. Its £8m investment in Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) composites capabilities has led to the production of new wing components for Bombardier’s CRJ700 and CRJ900 NextGen regional jets. In addition, work being carried out around another patented composites technology developed by the company, Resin Transfer Infusion (RTI), has led to a new fan cowl door, which is currently being tested.
Bombardier works closely with local universities on many of its research programmes, with the aim of using any new technologies developed on future aircraft programmes. The company is also focusing on how it can make any new products in fast, efficient, safe and environmentally friendly factories.
“Innovation and technology are fundamental to our future, and this conference is an opportunity for us to promote our ideas for the future of air travel, and learn from other leaders within the industry, particularly in light of increasing environmental and economic challenges,” said Michael Ryan.
“Northern Ireland has a long and proud aviation heritage, and as our company approaches 100 years of aviation innovation next year, it’s important that we continue to demonstrate how, through collaboration with local universities and support from Invest Northern Ireland, we are continuing to lead the way in tomorrow's aerospace technologies.”
A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from regional aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2007, were $14.8 billion US and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). News and information are available at www.bombardier.com.
CRJ700, CRJ900 and NextGen are trademarks of Bombardier Inc or it subsidiaries.
Notes to editors
Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast is sponsoring the AIAA Evening Awards Dinner at the Europa Hotel on September 19.
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