Aerospace News, June 2018

New processes for etching aluminium and titanium parts is helping a Shropshire manufacturer of precision photo etched metal components smash the £5m barrier for the first time in its history.


Advanced Chemical Etching (A.C.E), which is located on Hortonwood in Telford, has seen sales soar by 20% over the last twelve months, with new contracts secured across the aerospace, F1 and automotive sectors.


The firm’s ACmE and TiME processes have generated significant demand from a global customer base that Is committed to sourcing lightweight components.


The growth has necessitated the need for 15 new jobs and there could be more recruitment plans on the horizon if plans to hit £8m by 2020 are realised. A.C.E. specialises in development of prototype components, pre-production and volume fulfilment to customers in aero, automotive, electronics, medical, telecoms and renewables.


The scope of its activities is far and wide and can include anything from safety critical components or aircraft and F1 cars to meshes and electronic connectors and even frames for designer glasses.



All parts are developed and manufactured at its main site in Telford or at the company’s dedicated sister business, ACE Forming Limited, in Kingswinford. Latest production machinery, a dedicated laboratory and state-of-the-art measuring capability insures it works to the most exacting tolerances and can manufacture components in materials, such as stainless steel, nickel alloys, copper, beryllium copper, phosphor bronze, brass and, thanks to ground-breaking new processes, aluminium, molybdenum, titanium, nitinol and elgiloy.





Rolls-Royce have worked with materials scientists at The University of Manchester to help produce engines that deliver optimum performance and safety standards. According to the University of Manchester, fan blades in aircraft engines endure large loads and these stresses can create microscopic cracks in the blades which can lead to issues in service.


Reportedly the traditional method for stopping cracks is ‘shot-peening’, i.e. firing shot (round metallic, glass or ceramic particles) at the blades in order to rework the metal’s surface. The shallow indentations create compressive residual stresses that stop cracks growing.


The University of Manchester has reported that Rolls-Royce wanted to explore alternative cutting edge methods with leading experts at Manchester. The academic task force therefore investigated laser shock peening (LSP), which introduces

compressive stresses to a much greater depth via plasma created by a powerful pulsed laser.


Manchester researchers worked with Rolls-Royce to study the fundamental nature of LSP-induced compressive residual stress. LSP has demonstrated it is an improvement on more established shallow peening: it effectively compresses the atomic structure of the fan blades to make them much more resilient to cracking.





UK engine supplier for business aviation, Rolls-Royce launches a new engine family for business aviation, with the introduction of the Pearl. The engine has been purpose-built and will be the sole engine for Bombardier’s latest business jets, the Global 5500 aircraft and the global 6500 aircraft.


Rolls-Royce is the world’s leading engine supplier for business aviation, powering over 3,000 aircraft in service today, with a 42% market share. The Pearl 15 is the first of the planned state-of-the-art Pearl engine family for business aviation and marks the sixth new civil aerospace engine introduced by Rolls-Royce in the past 10 years.


The introduction of this new engine family serves to reaffirm Rolls-Royce’s leading position in business aviation. The Pearl engine combines innovative technologies derived from Rolls-Royce’s Advance2 technology demonstrator programmes with proven features from the Rolls-Royce BR700, today’s leading engine family in business aviation.


Its pioneering technology, combined with outstanding performance, will support Bombardier’s successful global family of aircraft in reaching new standards in the ultra-long-range corporate jet market. Enabling travellers to travel farther, faster, quicker and more quietly, the Pearl 15 will deliver up to 15,125lb of thrust (ISA +15), thanks to the most efficient engine core available across the business aviation sector.


Despite delivering up to 9% more thrust during take-off than the BR700, the engine will be 2 decibels quieter and operators will benefit from a 7% improvement in specific fuel consumption SFC.





Bombardier’s Belfast workforce has received a boost with an airline placing an order for up to 60 C-Series aeroplanes. Based on book price, the deal could reportedly be worth as much as £4.5bn the aerospace firm employs around 4,000 workers in Northern Ireland.


As part of the new deal with Latvian Carrier Air Baltic, Bombardier will reportedly produce 30 CS300 passenger jets with an option for a further 30. Bombardier also announced that two additions to their business jet fleet would be part-made in Belfast.


Bombardier has reported that the new planes, the Global 5500 and Global 3500, will feature unprecedented levels of innovation and comfort’.




Reportedly, more than 2,000 hours of flight testing has already been carried out, as well as all major structural testing. The aim is to have the aircraft entering service towards the end of 2018.






Rolls-Royce says it will expand its testing capacity at its Derby plant in response to the operational difficulties its Trent 1000 engine has been experiencing. Rolls-Royce first revealed that more inspections were needed to tackle problems with the Derby-built Trent 1000, which are used in Boeing’s Dreamliner 787, in April.


Airlines including British Airways, Virgin and Norwegian have been affected. The majority of the testing work takes place in facilities in Singapore, Heathrow and Derby. Rolls-Royce says plans to further increase this capacity are being developed.

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