GKN Aerospace joins Clean Sky 2 project

GKN Aerospace is taking part in an EU initiative to lower the weight of aero engines by up to 30%.

The company’s aero-engine engineering centres of excellence in Sweden and Norway will work with project leaders Safran, Rolls-Royce and MTU on the engines element of Clean Sky 2, a European Union initiative that is investing nearly €4bn in breakthrough aviation technology research.

Turbine aero-engine frame manufacturing at GKN Aerospace
Turbine aero-engine frame manufacturing at GKN Aerospace

GKN’s Scandinavian teams will design, develop and manufacture complex structural parts as well as rotating parts for full-scale aero-engine integrated technology demonstrators (ITD).

According to Robert Lundberg, director EU R&T Programmes at GKN in Trollhättan, candidate processes and technologies for the project include adaptive laser welding, additive manufacturing and the introduction of new Ni-base high temperature alloys, plus new automation techniques.

“We are responsible for some of these engines’ complex structural parts [such as] inter-compressor structure, rear turbine structure, but also rotating parts, like the rotating structures for the Open Rotor engine demonstrator,” said Lundberg. “The engine demonstrator will be engine tested [ground tested] as well as flight-tested on flying test beds. The goal is to reach TRL6, which means that product development can start right after the demonstration/validation.”

Lundberg added that project funding is matched equally between the EU and companies taking part in the project, which includes a Large Passenger Aircraft (LPA) element being led by Airbus and being contributed to by GKN.