Skip to content

reduced costs of lighter planes to increase profitability

Economic benefits

The UK aerospace industry employs 120,000 people [1] with 35% of those jobs in production and assembly. By supporting UK composite capabilities, CFLUX will support UK manufacturing jobs at all skill levels, with potential to support an increase in market share and hence employment.

It has been predicted that future civil aviation engines could contain 65% composites [2], using carbon fibre in higher risk components. NDE techniques must evolve with the increasingly complex demands placed on components. Our R&D will be the first step in this process, developing and validating new approaches that will feed into ongoing development of NDE expertise, maintaining the UK position as an industry leader in NDT. NDE is currently adding up to 10% to aerospace composites manufacturing time [3]. With CFLUX 30x faster than manual ultrasonic systems, any manufacturer moving from manual NDE to CLUX automation could reduce this to below 1%, with associated costs reduced to just 0.6% of current manufacturing spend. The reduced costs of lighter planes will also increase profitability, supporting the UK air travel market’s expectation to more than double in the next 20 years.

Environmental benefits

The aircraft industry has a target to halve CO2 emissions for all aircraft by 2020. For every 1% reduction in weight, the approximate fuel saving is 0.75% [4] and over its lifetime, a composite plane creates 20% fewer CO2 emissions than an aluminium equivalent [5], so expanding the take-up of composite components will support reaching that target.