Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, is collaborating with aircraft designer and manufacturer AERALIS to develop a new family of training jet aircraft using a patent-pending modular design.
Together, the organisations will design two types of modular aircraft – the Basic Trainer and the 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 that will be fully adaptable using different wings and engines depending on the level of training being undertaken. It is expected that the acquisition and maintenance of the family of training jets will cost 30% less than a conventional flight training system thanks to the modular design affording an 85% commonality in aircraft parts.
Atkins, who have 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.
Dave Clark, Aerospace & Defence Market Director at Atkins, said: “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.”
Tim Davies, AERALIS Strategy Director, added: “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.”
The training simulation that will be installed onto the training jets 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.