Innovative technologies to support the drive for higher efficiency and sustainability.
The aircraft of today are more fuel efficient and quieter than ever before, with a net 70% reduction in fuel burn over the last 40 years, but the current airframe configuration and engine architecture yield an ever decreasing improvement in benefits. The performance of the latest aircraft is a demonstration of the maximum efficiency that can be achieved with the conventional aircraft design and processes.
To meet the ambitious environmental and other external (e.g cost, rate) targets, there needs to be a step change in both the product and the performance. An industry-wide strategy is being promoted for the growth of the UK Aerospace industry, with the objective to deliver the capabilities to design and manufacture an integrated HLF/NLF (Hybrid/Natural Laminar Flow) aircraft concept.
The key involvement of Jigsaw Structures in the ATI funded ALFET (Advanced Laminar Flow Enabling Technologies) & ALFA Seal projects is the development of the structural sealing that will bridge assembly steps and gaps threatening laminarity, and facilitate component reparability in order to meet end-user operability requirements. Project involvement is a key driver for Jigsaw Structures aspirations in the renewable energy market, in particular NLF wind turbine blades.
Large Enterprise organisations operating within the wind energy market are currently investigating how laminar flow could be exploited to improve the performance of wind turbine rotors. Opportunities are identified to provide design, analysis & manufacturing specification services for laminar flow sealing not only for fixed wing products, but also for rotary wing applications, including wind turbine blades.