The second week of July is Farnborough International Airshow week, which, for those in aerospace means seven days of aircraft, aircraft, aircraft and well, a few more aircraft. For those not in aerospace it may pass you by, or it may be something you catch in the news but are not clear about what actually happens. In a nutshell it is four days of trade, one day of inspiring students to consider a career in aerospace, and two days of wowing the public. It will attract some 100,000 people over the trade days alone, showcase the best of the UK to dozens of international delegations, display more than 150 aircraft, and much more besides.
For us in the Aerospace Technology Institute, the 'wow factor' on display at Farnborough is the technology and what it can do for aircraft: What problems does it solve? How can it enhance aircraft performance? How will it improve the passenger experience? Advanced technologies in wings, systems and propulsion combine to make greener, safer, quieter aircraft that are globally competitive.
The technology is the result of years of research in areas such as materials, robotics, fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, microelectronics, energy storage, electrical motor drives, control engineering and many other disciplines. Early stage research funded by EPSRC and delivered by leading academics and institutions in the UK finds its way to commercial introduction as a result of years of effort, years of collaboration and a focused determination on solving problems.
The Aerospace Technology Institute is currently working directly with academia through its portfolio of projects; projects such as the GKN-led VIEWS programme, which aims to shape wing design manufacture and assembly technologies near to market readiness, while selecting some novel technologies for further development. The programme involves 13 partners including the universities of Nottingham, Bath, Bristol and Sheffield Hallam. Or the Future Flight Deck programme, led by GE Aviation with the universities of Coventry and Southampton, which aims to improve the flow of information to the pilot.
The Aerospace Technology Institute has also now published its Technology Strategy & Portfolio Update, which highlights areas of early stage research where academia could assist UK companies in remaining at the forefront of aircraft technology development - and, in the not-too-distant future, end up on a plane that is wowing the crowds at a Farnborough International Airshow.
To learn more about the ATI and the updated technology strategy, please go to the ATI website.
The Aerospace Technology Institute is independent company established as a collaboration between Government and Industry to lead and challenge the UK's Aerospace technology strategy and through £2 billion of secured R&T investment to maintain and grow the UK's competitive position.