The course combines theory with practical training.
The course combines theory with practical training.

GKN Aerospace is scheduled to to start wing production next year at its new facility at Western Approach, Bristol, UK.

The contract with UK training provider Dark Matter Composites covers the provision of a five day intensive training course combining theory, demonstrations, practical tasks and assessments. The course is integrated into the complete GKN Aerospace training activity for all composite production personnel.

Charles Paterson, General Manager, GKN Aerospace, FIlton, reports that by the end of 2010 five courses will have been delivered to a total of 40 individuals. During 2011 the company is planning a further 12 courses.

“This course provides us with a core element in the broad programme of training and investment in our team," he says. "It will create a consistent foundation, ensuring our personnel have the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to apply the leading edge manufacturing technologies we are employing."

Dark Matter Composites has been responsible for developing all technical course content to UK Qualification, Certification & Development Agency (QCDA) standards, combining presentation materials, tutor notes, lesson plans, practical tasks, assessment tasks and criteria to create a structured course format. The activity has also included the training and development of GKN Aerospace’s in-house tutors.

GKN Aerospace personnel complete the course in the company’s Filton-based composite training department with composites experts from both Dark Matter Composites and GKN Aerospace delivering key theory and practical activities associated with prepreg processing for manual and automated fibre placement technologies, and with the complete composite rear spar production process.

According to Rodney Hansen, Managing Director, Dark Matter Composites Ltd, GKN Aerospace has invested in a full course package which represents one of the most advanced, high end composite training courses available.

"The course focuses on the processes associated with primary aircraft structures, particularly the composite rear spars," he explains. "We have always recommended that a programme of this nature should have its own in-house training resource. By the end of 2010, our tutors will have handed over the full delivery of the course to GKN Aerospace’s trainers."