Aeralis and Atkins (an SNC-Lavalin company) are to collaborate in the development of a new family of jet training aircraft, using a modular design for which patents are pending.
Together, the organisations will design two types of modular aircraft – a Basic and an Advanced Trainer – which will provide training, from cadet to front-line pilot, for the most advanced combat aircraft systems currently in development.
Each aircraft will comprise a common core fuselage, fully adaptable using different wings and engines depending on the level of training being undertaken. It is anticipated that acquisition and maintenance of these aircraft will cost 30% less than a conventional flight training system, thanks to the modular design, which affords an 85% commonality in aircraft parts.
Atkins, which has been at the forefront of aerospace design for 30 years, 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. 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,” commented Atkins’ Aerospace and Defence Market Director, Dave Clark.
“The Aeralis team islooking 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,” added Aeralis Strategy Director, Tim Davies.
The training simulation to be integrated into the aircraft is currently being developed by Aeralis in partnership with Thales. Previously, Atkins has also worked alongside Thales to deliver systems and safety assurance for the training centrifuge at the state-of-the-art fast jet pilot training facility at the Royal Air Force College in Cranwell.