Atkins joins Aeralis trainer aircraft project
Atkins has announced that it is collaborating with aircraft designer and manufacturer Aeralis to develop a new family of training jet aircraft.
They will jointly design two types of modular aircraft – a basic trainer and advanced trainer – which will provide training for cadets up to front-line pilots operating on the most advanced combat aircraft that are in development.
Each aircraft will have a common core fuselage that will be adaptable using different wings and engines depending on the level of training being undertaken.
It is expected that the acquisition and maintenance cost of the family of training jets will be 30% less than a conventional flight training system as a result of a modular design with 85% commonality in aircraft parts.
Atkins will be advising on the design of the jets, using a digital twin to explore different design concepts for the fuselage and its interchangeable components.
‘Our collaboration with Aeralis provides us with a great opportunity to help shape the development of cutting-edge aircraft design,’ Dave Clark, aerospace and defence market director for Atkins, said.
‘Thanks to innovative tools such as a digital twin, we will be able to run virtual tests on the training jets before they are built to drive efficiencies and reduce the risks associated with aircraft design and production.’
‘The Aeralis team are looking forward to working with Atkins to build modular aircraft using innovative design processes that will motivate a new generation of young people to train in aerospace engineering, manufacturing and STEM subjects, as well as follow careers in aviation,’ Tim Davies, Aeralis strategy director, added.
The training simulation that will be installed onto the training jets is currently being developed by Aeralis in partnership with Thales.
Atkins has previously worked alongside Thales to deliver systems and safety assurance for the training centrifuge for the jet pilot training facility at the Royal Air Force College in Cranwell in the UK.
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The total cost of the design and construction contract will be €15 million (US$16.2 million) with a completion deadline of 18 months.
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