GKN Aerospace has successfully designed and manufactured an innovative cabin air intake scoop for future commercial aircraft electrical Environmental Control Systems (ECS) using lightweight materials and advanced manufacturing solutions.
It is the first ECS intake that incorporates additively manufactured noise reduction technology and fully integrated electrical ice protection, resulting in a quieter, lighter weight and more cost effective intake scoop for the more-electric aircraft.
The new air intake developed by GKN Aerospace and its partners, under the Clean Sky / industry joint-funded SANDIT project (Scoop And NACA Divergent Intake Trial), has confirmed the technical viability of the system concept by adapting the composite intake build method in combination with additive manufacturing to reduce cost.
The flight test hardware incorporated a commercially proven GKN Aerospace ice protection heater technology, Spraymat™, embedded just beneath the exposed air intake surfaces, to ensure smooth unhindered airflow when exposed to atmospheric icing conditions.
On air flow surfaces where the design demanded noise absorption, GKN Aerospace’s proprietary cost saving additive manufacturing (AM) process was employed to create an ice protected, heated, acoustic honeycomb structural liner, to meet the latest aircraft noise regulations whilst remaining ice free in service to ensure continuous cabin airflow.