GKN Aerospace has reached an important milestone in its collaboration with Eviation (USA) by delivering the first fully-integrated wings, empennage and EWIS for the Alice all-electric aircraft. The wings and empennage feature advanced composite technology and are the first delivered by GKN as fully integrated structures.
Alice is taking advantage of GKN's multi-technology specialist skills in airframe, structures and EWIS from right across the business. The build and assembly has been supported with products manufactured in Cowes, Filton, Western Approach in the UK and Hoogerheide in the Netherlands. Final assembly and integration was completed at GKN's 32 million pound Global Technology Centre in Bristol.
GKN Aerospace and Eviation announced the collaboration agreement covering the design and manufacture of wings, empennage and electrical wiring interconnection systems (EWIS) in May 2020. The rapid development and delivery showcases GKN Aerospace's ability to support the faster time-to-market of electrical aircraft. Alice is preparing for its first flight later this year and will fly nine passengers for up to 440 nm.
UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng says: “It is great to see GKN Aerospace flying the flag for green aviation and driving forward the technology necessary to end our contribution to climate change. The fantastic work happening at GKN Aerospace's new world-leading Global Technology Centre, which this government has helped to fund, is wonderful news for our plans to invest in the next generation of green aviation technologies here at home, bring them to market and then to our skies.”
GKN president civil airframe John Pritchard adds: “The development of all-electric aircraft is a game-changer. This first delivery is not only an important milestone in our collaboration with Eviation, but also in the quest for more sustainable and environmentally friendly aviation. GKN Aerospace is proud to bring its wealth of experience in design and certification, as well as technology leadership, to achieve this landmark.”
Meanwhile Curtiss-Wright Corporation has announced that it has successfully delivered the primary flight control actuators and control electronics to Eviation Aircraft for the all-electric Alice as it prepares for first flight. Curtiss-Wright's high-power density electromechanical actuators (EMA) provide Eviation with a modular, distributed solution that enables a flexible control architecture. Curtiss-Wright's proven commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) EMA design delivers a lightweight, plug-and-play solution that helps reduce cost, schedule risk, and programme risk.
Curtiss-Wright president and CEO Lynn M. Bamford says: “We are very proud to have delivered the first shipset of our innovative flight control actuation hardware to Eviation, and are excited to witness the first flight of its all-electric Alice aircraft later this year. Curtiss-Wright is committed to being an industry leader in bringing the revolutionary advantages of electric actuation to flight, from fixed wing to rotorcraft and from business jets to military platforms.”
Eviation co-founder and CEO Omer Bar-Yohay adds: “Curtiss-Wright is known for its flight control technology innovation, and we look forward to working with it as we build our high performing zero-emission electric aircraft. We are pleased to work with iconic partners who share our vision of making clean regional air travel accessible for all.”
EMA technology delivers compelling benefits over traditional hydraulic approaches, such as superior reliability, improved energy efficiency and reduced weight for a wide range of aviation applications including flight controls, landing gear and utility actuation.