An aerospace laboratory of global testing group Exova has signed a five-year agreement with GKN Aerospace to provide a testing programme for parts of the new Airbus A350 XWB aircraft.
The contract, with GKN Aerospace’s Western Approach facility at Bristol, will see Exova’s Bridgwater laboratory providing production release testing for all of the Airbus A350 XWB composite wing spars.
Testing of each aircraft’s six spar sections will be carried out utilising a range of composite testing methods.
Exova Bridgwater is part of the group’s global network of laboratories which carry out a range of testing services for the aerospace sector including non-destructive testing, failure analysis, corrosion testing, materials selection and composite testing.
Mark Eldridge, general manager of Exova Bridgwater, said: “Exova has worked closely with GKN Aerospace over a long period to perfect the A350 XWB’s aft composite spar and fixed trailing edge material properties.
“This contract marks the strong relationship between both parties and underlines the technically demanding testing programme completed to date.
“Following the successful maiden flight of the A350 XWB in June, we now have a strong platform for growth as the A350 XWB build programme develops over the next five years and beyond.”
Exova is one of the world’s largest dedicated testing groups, trusted by organisations to test and advise on the safety, quality and performance of their products and operations. Exova’s capabilities help to extend asset life, bring predictability to applications, and shorten the time to market for customers’ products, processes and materials. With over 90 years’ experience, Exova specialises in testing across a number of key sectors from food and pharmaceuticals to aerospace, oil and gas, fire, engineering and construction. Exova operates 111 permanent facilities in 22 countries and employs more than 3,500 people throughout Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia/Asia Pacific.
GKN Aerospace is a global first tier supplier of airframe structures, engine components, transparencies and fuel/flotation systems, with sales of GBP1.8bn in 2012 and a global workforce approaching 12,000. It has a significant participation on all major aircraft programmes today and a broad customer base spanning commercial, military, business aerospace and space markets.
The company’s extensive engineering capability and clear focus on targeted innovation has created technological and manufacturing leads in each of its areas of expertise.