Kansas-based Spirit AeroSystems will create a new research and development complex at its manufacturing site in Prestwick, Scotland. Innovation efforts will focus on infusion processes for composites materials, part handling, assembly automation, rapid prototyping and virtual/augmented reality.
“The new facility will further enable our growth for industry-leading aerospace technologies and innovations,” said Spirit President and CEO Tom Gentile. “The next generation of aircraft doesn’t exist yet, and that’s what we’re concentrating on. Our engineers are inventing the future of flight.”
The new center will include a training area and will grow the company’s research and development footprint in Prestwick from approximately 8,000 square feet to 70,000 square feet. Construction will begin later this year, and the company expects to celebrate a grand opening in 2019.
“This innovation center of excellence will feature the kind of specialized design and research work that we are known for,” said John Pilla, Spirit’s senior vice president and chief technology officer. “It’s another instance of Spirit’s unique capabilities that makes us the partner of choice for the world’s aerospace companies.”
Spirit AeroSystems is one of the largest manufacturers of aerostructures in the world with design and build capabilities for both commercial and defense customers. Headquartered in Wichita, KS, Spirit operates sites in the U.S., U.K., France and Malaysia. The company’s core products include fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components for the world’s premier aircraft. The Prestwick site manufactures metallic and composite wing components, such as the leading- and trailing-edges and spoilers for the Airbus A320 family.