Friday, April 27, 2012

News: AMRC researchers welcome Boeing Dreamliner to the UK


Researchers from the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing in Rotherham, were amongst customers, suppliers and partners from the UK to welcome Boeing's 787 Dreamliner as it's "Dream Tour" came to Heathrow Airport this week.

The aircraft uses 20 percent less fuel and has a noise footprint 60 percent smaller than today's similarly-sized airplanes. When bidding for the landing gear was opened, manufacturer Messier-Bugatti-Dowty came to the AMRC, at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, to see if it was feasible to make landing gear parts from a new grade of titanium alloy.

Boeing were looking to reduce the weight of the landing gear components whilst crucially retaining the strength and durability. Titanium was the preferred material and AMRC engineers worked with Messier-Bugatti-Dowty to help reduce the machining of the titanium 5553 components by a factor of 18, and reduce their tooling costs by 30 percent.

As a direct result of this, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty became the first British company to win a contract to supply the entire landing gear for a Boeing aircraft.

The French company (part of the Safran group) continues to work with the AMRC, looking at how to machine titanium alloys at rates that meet the increasing demands of cost down targets, increased volume and increased process capability.

Randy Tinseth, vice president, marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: "Our partnership with the aviation and aerospace sectors in the United Kingdom stretches back over 70 years and the 787 Dreamliner is the latest world-leading airplane that Boeing has produced with their support.

"As we continue to manufacture and deliver the 787 Dreamliner our customers and their passengers alongside the UK aerospace sector will all see increased benefits from the program."

As part of the Dream Tour, the Dreamliner visited Manchester and Gatwick Airports before returning to Heathrow. It also performed a flyover of the Rolls-Royce facility in Derby, were the famous Trent 1000 engines are made.

A sister factory for the manufacture fan blades, principally for the aerospace sector, is one of three facilities that Rolls-Royce are planning to build in Rotherham.

AMRC website

Boeing website

Images: Boeing / Thomson Holidays / twitter


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