A key partner of Strathclyde has launched a state-of-the-art purpose-built global centre for the design and digital manufacturing of next generation aerostructures. The 90,000-square-foot innovation centre on the Spirit campus in Prestwick is capable of manufacturing components of up to 20 metres in length and features 55,000 square feet of manufacturing space and a materials […]
Consortium Member facilities
The UK Aerospace Research Consortium members host many facilities ranging from Wind tunnels and Turbomachinery facilities to electrical power and structures laboratories. These are used by academia and industry, both nationally and internationally.
A primary aim for the UK-ARC is to accelerate UK-Based technology advancement within priority aerospace and aviation disciplines. Knowledge of and access to these facilities is crucial to making the best use of UK investment in research to advance aerospace technology. This page and the links included here to individual university inventories of facilities are intended to give greater visibility to the many significant UK-ARC university facilities.
Coordinating the inventories of the large range of facilities available, their location and contact information should assist a greater level of inter-university collaboration and improved industry access to world class research facilities. UK universities welcome contact from international aerospace companies and organisations which may also wish to use these facilities.
Below are a number of the key facilities for Consortium members, plus a relevant link to a comprehensive list of their other facilities.
“The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast has state-of-the-art infrastructure, experimental and computational facilities to support our world-leading research and teaching activities as well as access to key institutional facilities.”
Aerospace research at Manchester is truly multidisciplinary and we have extensive world-class facilities to support this. These include the new Henry Royce Institute opened in 2021 – a world-leading centre for advanced materials research and commercialisation https://www.royce.ac.uk/ ; the National Graphene Centre https://www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk/about/ngi/ (and Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre https://www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk/geic/ ) which recognise Manchester as the home of graphene – the world’s first 2D material. Manchester academics are leading the way in tackling the global challenge in more sustainable forms of energy/synthetic fuels at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology https://www.mib.manchester.ac.uk/research/ There are a world-class array of facilities, including fixed flight simulators, laser labs, wind tunnels in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering https://www.mace.manchester.ac.uk/research/facilities/ and in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering we house the latest innovations in electrical power and systems research in the Rolls Royce Intelligent Electrical Power Networks Evaluation Facility (IEPNEF) and the High Voltage Lab https://www.eee.manchester.ac.uk/research/facilities/ .
Closed Loop Research Wind Tunnel: Wind Tunnel – Swansea University
The Swansea University experimental aerodynamics research facilities include a closed loop and closed section wind tunnel with a maximum speed of 50 m/s. The temperature-controlled, closed (Re max = 3.2 million/m, T.I. = 0.2%) is designed specifically for 2D airfoil/wing tests with two 6-component balances supporting the wing models either horizontally or vertically across the test section for variable aspect ratio tests. The facility is focussed on aeroelastic experiments and flow control devices. In addition to standard equipment (HWA, Stereo PIV, high speed pressure sensors), a Stereo Digital Image Correlation system is available to perform simultaneous flow and surface deformation measurements.
Open Loop Research Wind Tunnel: Swansea University also houses a state-of-the-art open loop wind tunnel designed specifically for the study of animal flight. This open jet tunnel differs from other animal flight facilities in the size of the test section, which will be the largest of those currently in operation (1.8 m wide by 1.5 m high). This, combined with the tilt range of the tunnel (-1 to + 8 degrees), makes it ideally suited for the study of flight in large animals, many of which have adaptations for gliding flight. The speed can be varied continuously from 5 to 28 m/s. The tunnel has been funded by the ERC under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.
The Swansea University flight simulation lab consists of a suite of Merlin MP521 6DoF closed capsule simulators running the Merlin Excalibur software system. These facilities are specically developed for use in aerospace vehicle design with capabilities for modelling fixed wing, rotary wing, VTOL/STOL, gliders, aerostats and low Earth orbit vehicles.
The Future Manufacturing Research Institute (FMRI) at Swansea University provides expertise and facilities in the areas of:
(i) digital manufacturing and design, robotics, automation, control, data analytics, artificial intelligence, the human-machine interface and multiscale computer modelling
(ii) advanced materials and device design, prototyping and additive manufacturing from the nano to the macro scale
Facilities include additive manufacture, robotics/cobotics and digital manufacturing systems.
For more details: Future Manufacturing Research Institute – Swansea University