A pair of Midland manufacturing hubs have been chosen to take part in a £30 million research programme which is aiming to revolutionise the design and manufacture of aircraft wings.
The Manufacturing Technology Centre and Warwick Manufacturing Group are among five centres taking part in the Aerospace Technology Institute 'Views' programme led by Redditch-headquartered engineering firm GKN Aerospace.
Standing for Validation and Integration of Manufacturing Enablers for Future Wing Structures, Views will examine and test technologies for wing design, manufacture and assembly which could reduce costs by at least 20 per cent.
The programme will also look at wing architecture design, production tooling and advanced new materials including composites.
The Views team comprises four industrial partners - GKN Aerospace, Bombardier Aerospace, Spirit AeroSystems and GE Aviation - and universities in Nottingham, Bath, Bristol and Sheffield Hallam.
The three other centres involved in the research programme are National Composites Centre in Bristol, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at University of Sheffield and Advanced Forming Research Centre at University of Strathclyde.
Rich Oldfield, technical director of GKN Aerospace said: "Through the Aerospace Technology Institute, the UK aerospace sector is able to work together effectively to develop promising technologies and processes that will help us maintain our position as the strongest national aerospace industry outside the USA.
"Views will work from that base, taking us nearer to market readiness with a new generation of automated processes and technologies that will extend what we in the UK are able to manufacture, at the same time as increasing the quality, consistency and speed of production."
The Aerospace Technology Institute is an independent body established as a collaboration between government and industry to lead and challenge the UK's aerospace technology strategy.
Through £2 billion of secured research and technology investment, it seeks to maintain and grow the UK's competitive position in world-leading capabilities.