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Spirit and Albany link up for hypersonic solutions

3D woven, near-net shape composites will help create affordable thermal protection systems.

7th July 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Rochester, NH, USA


Spirit AeroSystems and Albany Engineered Composites (AEC) have entered a technical collaboration to capitalise on their combined ability to deliver composite solutions to more rapidly support hypersonic programne developments.

The combination of Spirit’s ultra-high temperature composites and densification capabilities along with AEC’s experience of producing high volumes of 3D woven, near-net shape composites creates the expertise and capacity to design, develop and manufacture a wide range of scalable, highly adaptable, and affordable thermal protection systems for hypersonic missions.

“The biggest challenge facing the US Department of Defense and prime movers in hypersonic programmes is the need for scalable and affordable thermal protection systems that can be tailored to each mission and optimised for performance,” said Mark Miklos, vice-president of hypersonic solutions at Spirit. “This collaboration enables elegant technical solutions to be developed, while reducing the risk of accelerating programme timelines and scaling to production.”

“By working together and leveraging our proprietary technologies and manufacturing processes, Spirit and Albany Engineered Composites are expected to achieve superior hypersonic design solutions previously not possible,” added Greg Harwell, president of Albany Engineered Composites. “These synergies should assist with eliminating a serious market constraint and will deliver better results.”

Spirit AeroSystems, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of aerostructures. Albany Engineered Composites, of Rochester, New Hampshire,  is a designer and manufacturer of advanced materials-based engineered components for jet engine and airframe applications, supporting both commercial and military platforms.

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