The UK aerospace industry is the biggest in Europe and comes second after the US worldwide. Although the industry is growing ten times faster than the rest of the UK economy, it faces a current backlog of more than 11,000 aircraft and 20,000 aircraft engines - estimated to be worth around £150bn to the UK economy. However the industry also exports 75% of everything it makes in the UK; firmly establishing it as one of the country’s export champions.
UK aerospace has a solid track record of rising to the challenge of increased technological innovation and the UK government are passionate about ensuring the UK keeps its top position in the world. This is perfectly demonstrated by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), which is collaborating with organisations across the sector such as Airbus and Rolls-Royce, as well as other major UK players including Messier-Dowty, AgustaWestland and GKN Aerospace, to exploit the potential of the civil aerospace industry, which is estimated to be worth $4.5trn globally by 2031.
How can the MTC help?Aero Engines:
A range of current projects are investigating processes and technologies to reduce carbon emissions from aero engines. Research will also focus on tooling for assembly, additive manufacturing and automation to improve engine design, making them more efficient and reducing the time to manufacture.Aero Structures:
We’re also working on next-generation innovations such as improved assembly technologies to improve laminar wing flows and reduce surface contamination.
Digitising Manufacturing and other Big Data technologies are already being adopted by aerospace. Most of the OEMs and major Tier 1 suppliers are investing significant resource in this area and are aiming to deploy it within many of their operations. This Fourth Industrial Revolution is driven by advances in sensor technology, connectivity and data analytics and the MTC are a partner in leading the UK strategy for this.