The Bell V-280 Valor craft. (Photo courtesy Bell Helicopter.)
The Bell V-280 Valor craft. (Photo courtesy Bell Helicopter.)

GKN Aerospace says that it has produced two thermoplastic composite, induction welded ruddervators, and two compression-molded access panels manufactured from re-used thermoplastic waste material, to aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter for its Bell V-280 Valor craft.

Ruddervators are the control surfaces for an aircraft with a V-tail configuration, according to GKN. The two compression-moulded access panels were manufactured from recycled thermoplastic waste material from the two ruddervator. The various components are technology demonstrators and are planned for flight testing on the aircraft in 2019. This will make the V-280 one of the first military aircraft flying with thermoplastic components, the company says, adding that thermoplastics can offer advantages in terms of weight, costs, production time and environmental impact.

This story uses material from GKN, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.