Investing in the craft

John Denham, secretary of state for innovation universities and skills, has announced a £103m programme to develop technologies that will help achieve the next generation of single aisle aircraft.

The South West RDA will invest £8m into this public private partnership to support and retain major university networks, highly skilled employees and existing capabilities. The project aims to develop a whole raft of technologies including advanced materials, aero dynamics, electrical systems and systems integration.

As part of this, the Next Generation Composite Wing (NGCW) programme will also develop low-cost technologies to enable high volume wing manufacture. Future design processes will help to further reduce airline operating costs, airframe weight and maintenance.

South West RDA board member Nick Buckland said: ‘The region will provide a centre for the development and validation of designs for improved performance, lower manufacturing cost and lower noise emissions.

He added: ‘Companies from across the region are already playing a significant role in this programme including Airbus, GE Aviation and Messier Dowty.’