The future has landed

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GKN Aerospace’s landing gear business is a front runner in the design, development and use of lightweight composites in landing gear and landing gear components.

Composites have been shown to be more durable, provide weight savings, have greater corrosion resistance and eventually are less expensive than conventional metal systems. Also, composites have shorter manufacturing lead times.

GKN Aerospace’s ‘Automated Composite Manufacturing Pilot Plant’ in Marknesse, Netherlands, is focusing on producing thick walled composites with separately injected resins, for which the plant is outfitted with ultra-modern equipment, including one of the largest robotic fiber braiding machines in Europe.

Together with the National Dutch Aerospace laboratory (NLR) further robotification of the production and inspection of composite landing gear components is explored. The polymer matrix composite (PMC) drag brace for the F-35 Lightning II landing gear will be the first product delivered by the pilot plant.

GKN Aerospace received from UTAS (United Technologies Aerospace Systems) the contract for the design and development for the qualification of this primary load carrying component for the F-35 Lightning II landing gear.

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Take a look at some of the work taking place at the Automated Composite Manufacturing Pilot Plant owned by GKN Aerospace and the Netherlands Aerospace Centre in the Netherlands.