Aerospace News, July 2018

Rolls-Royce is set to be at the forefront of a £343m “revolution” in electric and hybrid planes, the government has announced. Rolls-Royce will work with Airbus and Siemens on the £58m E-FAN X project aimed at developing a flight demonstrator for hybrid-electric propulsion for commercial aircraft. The project, says the government, will bring forward hybrid-electric technology which will deliver improved environmental performance that is cleaner, quieter and introduce re-evaluations of the entire design of aircraft.

Rolls-Royce will also spearhead a £70m ULTRAFAN® and ACCEL projects worth a total of £70m. This will include four projects on engine technologies for UltraFan involving multiple partners including universities and smaller companies. A performance and precision engineering, ACCEL is intended to accelerate the adoption of electrical technology in aviation through the design build and flight test of a high performance electric powertrain.

At the Farnborough International airshow, aerospace giants, Airbus and Boeing have fought for every deal available. The rivalry between the two companies has made this year’s show even more fiercely competitive, after Boeing secured more deals in 2017 than Airbus This year most forecasts have been correct, with a rise in the amount of carrier airlines in Asia and South America and a lot of companies investing in Boeing’s 777 freighter series, and Airbus selling a lot of their A320neo aircrafts.

Overall, Boeing secured US$98.4bn in orders, with commitments worth US$2.1 bn of that coming from commercial and defence orders. Aircrafts used for defence purposes haven’t been the focus of the air show so far, but a new fighter jet – dubbed Tempest’ – has been unveiled at the air show by the British Secretary of state Defence. The plan is for this new jet to replace the old Typhoon fighter jet. It’s due to be manufactured by BAE systems. Rolls Royce and Italy’s Leonardo. This year saw US$23bn more being invested by airlines than 2016, and with the manufacturers s predicting an increase in demand over the coming 10 years, the world’s aerospace sector looks set to continue to soar.

Aerospace engineering company, JJ Churchill, has secured a 10-year contract in excess of £70m with Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace. The deal will see the Leicestershire-based engineering firm, which employs 150 people, supply Rolls-Royce with high precision turbine blades for the next decade.

The programme will see the continuation of the partnership between JJ Churchill and Rolls Royce go from strength to strength.

The UK is set to build on its world-leading expertise in aerospace with the development of vertical and horizontal spaceports in the Northern Highlands of Scotland. The UK Space Agency (UKSA) has announced £2.5m grant funding to support a project led by regional development agency Highlands and islands Enterprise (HIE) that aims to create the UK’s first spaceport and support around 400 jobs.

HlE has confirmed a major funding package for the project totalling to £17.3m, including the £2.5m from UKSA and £9.8m from HIE which has been approved in principle by the HIE Board, subject to conditions. While details of the package are still to be confirmed, the enterprise agency expects to attract further contributions from partners that will offset its share of the overall cost.

Over the next 18 months, HIE will prepare a planning application to the Highland Council, which Is expected to be submitted late next year. As well as supporting HIE, the UKSA has awarded research and development grant funding to two international launch companies that are its partners in the Sutherland project – Lockheed Martin and UK-based early stage spaceflight company, Orbex.

Following its call for grant proposals in Spring 2017, the UK Space Agency assessed 26 proposals to determine what would deliver the best value for money and strategic opportunity for the growth of the UK space sector.

A number of sites across the UK are developing their spaceport plans and engaging with regulation’s and confidence in a future UK industry’s ambition and confidence in a future UK spaceflight market, which could attract companies from aII over the world to invest in Britain. Launches will be regulated under the Space Industry Act 2018.

According to the government, the UK and US will also soon begin formal negotiations towards a Technology Safeguards Agreement, which will establish the legal and technical safeguards that can support US space launch vehicles to operate from UK launch sites. The government stated, that attracting US operators in the UK could enhance the space capabilities and boost the whole market.

 Under a new Prosperity Framework, the UK government and Lockheed Martin will work together to identify new opportunities to generate value to the UK and to Lockhead Martin.  The Framework will work on the creation and exploitation of innovative ideas and technologies; strengthening supply chains; and supporting the development of the advanced manufacturing and technology sectors.

According to the UK government, this will bring considerable benefits to the wider defence. Aerospace and space sectors of the UK economy, creating and sustaining high-level technology jobs and skills in key industries.

Supported by an investment of £38m from Lockheed Martin, opportunities for potential collaboration will be identified across defence and commercial sectors including in autonomous systems, space, artificial intelligence. Cybersecurity electronic warfare and underwater technologies.

Lockheed Martin has been a partner in UK Defence for almost 80 years and currently adds £1bn to the economy every year, supporting 1,000 suppliers (75% of which are SMEs) and 10,000 jobs. This mutually beneficial relationship provides the company with its second largest international market. Both the government and Lockhead Martin want this partnership to grow from strength to strength.

Phillip Dunne’s independent review of the prosperity benefits that flow from defence, reinforced the importance of building strong relationships with companies such as Lockheed Martin. This Framework will drive growth and investment in the UK and develop technologies and capabilities which can be exploited for the benefit of defence, the 500,000 jobs it supports, and for the broader UK economy.

The first six months of the year saw the UK’s aerospace sector set new records for deliveries and the total order backlog. Deliveries have set new records for the month of June at 165 aircraft, Q2 with 383 aircraft deliveries and first half year at 693 aircraft, according to ADS – the trade body for UK aerospace, defence, security and space.

The value of delivers made so far in 2018 are estimated to be worth up to £13bn to the UK aerospace Industry. Engine deliveries also saw a record June and second quarter with 362 in total, an 11% increase over 2017. June’s figures also made this the best first six months for wide-bodied aircraft on record with 241 orders in total, a 47% Increase on 2017 orders.

The industry sees both the largest backlog of engine orders with 26,068 on firm order and the 2017 of largest backlog of aircraft orders on record with 14,327 which beats the backlog for December 2017 of 14,324.

Final figures for aircraft and engine deals at the 2018 Farnborough International Air show came lose to record levels as the global industry sees sustained high demand. UK aerospace companies are expected to see an estimated US$28.8bn (£21.9bn) in value from orders and commitments for engines and more than 1,400 aircraft.

Announcements by the Prime Minister and senior cabinet Ministers on the first days of the show included R&D and innovation projects worth £343m, a new Combat Air Strategy, and the site of a new UK spaceport in Sutherland as well as well as development funding for horizontal launch sites in Cornwall, Wales and Prestwick.


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