Airbus Group is making huge strides in the expansion of its research capacities at the Group's site in Ottobrunn/Taufkirchen to the south of Munich. On Thursday, the Group inaugurated its new material research laboratory and celebrated a ground-breaking ceremony for the E-Aircraft System House. Guests included leadership and experts from government, industry and the scientific community. Airbus Group also sealed a partnership with Siemens in the field of electric flight. In addition, the on-site Ludwig Bolköw Campus signed an agreement to establish a new 3D printing centre, dubbed the ‘Aerospace Factory.’
Tom Enders, Airbus Group CEO, and Siemens CEO, Joe Kaeser, signed the agreement in the presence of Ilse Aigner, Deputy Minister President of Bavaria, and Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics, Brigitte Zypries. The Project partners plan to jointly develop electric and hybrid aircraft propulsion systems.
Airbus Group is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2015, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space and Airbus Helicopters – generated revenues of € 64.5 billion and employed a workforce of around 136,600.
Government leadership also attended the formal opening of the material research laboratory and raised a hammer for the symbolic groundbreaking for the E-Aircraft System House.
With the E-Aircraft System House, Airbus Group plans to develop technologies for electric and hybrid aircraft propulsion. The Group's internal research and development facility will be jointly operated by Airbus Group and its three Divisions. Construction work is expected to start in early 2017; the opening is scheduled for end 2018. The use of electric and hybrid aircraft engines significantly reduces both CO2 emissions and noise levels in flight and enables new and efficient aircraft concepts. For several years now, Airbus Group has been exploring the technologies necessary to realise hybrid electric aircraft.
The newly opened materials research laboratory belongs to Airbus Group Innovations, the Group’s central global research network. Lab researchers will focus on developing materials for aircraft construction which are lightweight, robust and environmentally friendly. At around 4,500 square metres, the lab will house a team of 65 experts who will explore a diverse range of technologies ranging from 3D printing and surface technology to innovative welding methods.
The Aerospace Factory, envisioned as a centre for 3D printing, will research innovative production methods for the aerospace industry and develop them to maturity. Additive Layer Manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, can be used to manufacture components with highly complex geometries that are built up layer by layer from metallic powder heated with a laser. Time-consuming processing steps can be omitted from the traditional manufacturing process. Component shapes and designs can be calculated so that the printed parts are both light and extremely stable. The Aerospace Factory will be based on the Ludwig Bölkow Campus, an interdisciplinary venture between industry and universities at the Ottobrunn/Taufkirchen site. The signatories of the declaration of intent are made up of aerospace company Airbus Safran Launchers; engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines; EOS GmbH, the world’s leading company for technology and quality in the field of high-end AM solutions and a pioneer in the field of direct metal laser sintering; Airbus Group Innovations; the Technical University of Munich with its Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management (iwb); the Fraunhofer Development Center for X-ray Technology (EZRT), a division of the Fraunhofer IIS; Airbus subsidiary APWorks; Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (IABG); the Airbus Endowed Chair for Integrative Simulation and Engineering of Materials and Processes (ISEMP) of the University of Bremen; and the ESI Group, a pioneer and the world’s leading provider of virtual prototyping solutions.
At the end of 2015, the Ludwig Bölkow Campus and the TU Munich opened the world’s first-ever technical centre for growing algae for the production of environmentally friendly kerosene at the Ottobrunn/Taufkirchen site.
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Partnering up with Siemens to develop electric propulsion
Inauguration of a new materials research laboratory
Ground-breaking ceremony for the E-Aircraft System House