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GKN Aerospace celebrates successful first flight of second X-47B

The US Navy and Northrop Grumman have successfully completed first flight of the second Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) air vehicle. As part of a multi-year contract, GKN Aerospace has designed and manufactured a large portion of the fuselage and wing structure for this pioneering aircraft.

The tailless aircraft's complex centre fuselage, wings, bay covers and actuated doors, all produced by GKN Aerospace, contain a lightweight aluminium, titanium or composite substructure that is covered by several hundred square feet of durable, light weight carbon reinforced composite skins. Each wing supports a spoiler flight control surface and hosts fully integrated electrical and hydraulic routings. The wing design also incorporates a fold capability that enables the air vehicle to achieve a smaller footprint for aircraft carrier stowage.

The company's teams at its development centre in Nashville, TN and manufacturing operation in St. Louis, MO used advanced design tools and analysis techniques, with state of the art production equipment, to develop and produce more than 650 high performance metallic and composite structures and assemblies for each aircraft.

Kevin Cummings, President and CEO, Aerostructures - North America, GKN Aerospace comments: "GKN Aerospace is extremely proud to have designed and built a large portion of the X-47B's complex, high performance metallic and composite airframe. We look forward to the continued success of this transformational Navy programme over the coming years."

Press release issued by GKN Aerospace - Aerostructures North America on December 7, 2011


 Contact details from our directory:
GKN Aerospace - Aerostructures North America Wings, Fuselage Sections, Metal Structures, Metal & Alloy Forgings, Winglets


 Related aircraft programs:
Northrop Grumman UCAS X-47


 Related directory sectors:
Structural Components
Airframe Assemblies

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