GKN Aerospace has opened its latest Global Technology Centre (GTC), in Hoogeveen, the Netherlands. This state-of-the-art facility, which was opened last month, is part of GKN Aerospace's substantial €80 million investment in the Netherlands. The cutting-edge centre serves as a dynamic environment for research and accelerated development of the latest sustainable aerospace technologies.
The Netherlands GTC's primary focus will be on advancing lightweight thermoplastic composites for the next generation of aircraft, while also spearheading an extensive R&D electrification program in collaboration with GKN Fokker sites in Hoogerheide and Papendrecht.
The thermoplastics research programs at the GTC aim to pioneer new lightweight composite materials and processes that enable scalable and cost-effective high-volume production for the next generation of single-aisle aircraft. Leveraging advanced thermoplastic composites enable weight reduction of at least 10% compared to traditional aircraft materials. Furthermore, thermoplastics boast superior production efficiency, excellent fire safety characteristics, and high recyclability, and therefore, present an affordable and sustainable solution for aircraft structural components.
John Pritchard, President Civil Airframe GKN Aerospace, said, "I am delighted that we have officially opened our GTC in Hoogeveen, which represents a significant investment and reaffirms our enduring commitment to the Netherlands. This centre will accelerate the adoption of lightweight and cost-effective thermoplastic aerostructures, further propelling aviation toward electrification, underscoring our unwavering commitment to sustainability."
As a global leader in sustainable aerospace technologies, GKN Aerospace leads various projects in multiple countries from its established GTCs in Bristol (UK £32M investment), Trollhättan (Sweden), and Fort Worth (USA). Each centre has its own unique expertise and operates within world-class ecosystems that include academia and strategic partners. Effective collaboration among companies and regions is crucial for the aviation industry to achieve its ambitious Net Zero emissions targets.
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