Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2020-07-05

GKN’s Thermoplastic Components Tested on Bell V-280

GKN Aerospace delivered a pair of thermoplastic composite, induction-welded Ruddervators and two compression-moulded Access Panels manufactured from reused thermoplastic waste material to Bell. The newly installed components have now flown more than 12 hours on V-280 test flights, including during the recently completed autonomous flight testing.  
 
The Bell test pilots were happy with the seamless integration of the newly installed parts, noting that the V-280 continued to exhibit excellent responsiveness through test manoeuvres. This has made the V-280 one of the first military aircraft flying successfully with thermoplastic components.  
 
Ruddervators are the control surfaces for an aircraft with a V-tail configuration. As a partner in Bell’s Team Valor, GKN Aerospace has designed and manufactured the complete thermoset composite V-Tail for the aircraft. The Bell V-280 Valor is competing for selection as the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA). The advanced thermoplastic Ruddervators significantly reduce weight, cost and parts count.
 
In parallel to the demonstrator programme, the GKN Aerospace global design team continues to work with Bell to optimise the V-Tail design to meet customer requirements for the FLRAA.
 

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