Bombardier’s Belfast team recognised with award

Posted on 03 Aug 2019 and read 711 times
Bombardier’s Belfast team recognised with awardThe Bombardier team behind an innovative resin-infused advanced composite aircraft wing that minimises the environmental impact of commercial jet aircraft has been named the winner of the MacRobert Award 2019 by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE).

The Princess Royal presented the award to the five-strong team of Belfast-based engineers: Mark Braniff, head of strategic technology (composites); David Patterson, engineering fellow (aerostructures); Trevor Poots, former chief manufacturing and tooling engineer; David Riordan, engineering fellow (engine nacelle design); and Sam Wilson, senior composites specialist.

Bombardier’s (www.bombardier.com) composite aircraft wing underpins the Airbus A220 and is the first certified commercial-aircraft wing made using resin transfer infusion (RTI).

This sees a complex structure created by placing dry fabric into moulds before impregnating it with liquid resin, which then sets into shape under heat and pressure.

While other processes involve pre-impregnated carbon-fibre requiring intensive refrigeration before manufacture, the RTI process uses less energy and fewer parts — and it results in a wing that is about 10% lighter than a conventional metal wing.

Sue Ion, chairman of the MacRobert Award judging panel, said: “Bombardier’s composite wing reflects how excellence in aeronautical engineering benefits both society and the environment.

“At a time of uncertainty for Belfast’s engineering community, we hope this award helps them achieve the world-wide recognition they deserve.”

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