Strengthening its wings

DTI funding lifts QinetiQ’s research into polymeric composites

DTI funding lifts QinetiQ’s standing as aerospace world leader in field of polymeric composites QinetiQ is to receive £1.8m funding from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Airbus UK for its research into polymeric composites, which will help Airbus UK to further develop wing technologies for future generations of aircraft. The funding is part of a total £2.6m DTI package for the Civil Aircraft Structural Composites Application Development and Exploitation project (CASCADE). CASCADE, which recently held its inaugural meeting, will be led from Airbus UK’s engineering centre at Filton near Bristol and will further develop techniques in using composite materials in civil aircraft wings. The DTI funding for CASCADE will, for example, help accelerate the work that QinetiQ has conducted into generating a more widespread use of polymeric composite materials, and thereby their greater transfer from the military to civil sector. QinetiQ’s work will also provide underpinning technology to the UK composites aerospace industry, including work targeted at a civil composite wing and the greater use of polymeric composites in stronger, lighter wing technologies. The funding will allow further work to be conducted by QinetiQ into new technologies such as Resin Infusion methods and Non Crimp Fabric (NCF) materials, which may one day be used in the manufacturing process. The United Kingdom aerospace industry currently achieves sales of around £18 billion per year, of which approximately 60 per cent is civil. The design and manufacture of aircraft wings is recognised as being a key UK strength, and QinetiQ has supported Airbus over many years, helping the company to maintain and develop its pre-eminent position in wing technology.