Canadian aerospace company Bombardier, located at the Northern Irish base, has produced an award-winning team who bagged the prestigious engineering award for a composite wing that reduces the environmental footprint of commercial jets. The Bombardier working group received the Royal Academy of Engineering’s MacRobert Award for its resin-infused advanced composite aircraft wing. The wing fortifies the company’s A220 plane and is the first commercial wing of its type. The team was presented with a gold medal and £50,000 prize by the Princess Royal.
The wing minimizes the aircraft’s environmental impact by reducing both weight and fuel burn in flight, and waste during manufacture. Bombardier’s carbon composite wing is approximately 10% lighter in comparison with a conventional metal wing, which reduces fuel burn and CO2 emissions. It is used by Airbus, the European areophane maker. At the outset of environmental worries and efforts to mitigate eco hazard, the award is times perfectly. Airlines have come under the radar for emissions, which have substantially increased by 3 per cent to 136m tons between 2014 and 2017, according to the European Aviation Environmental Report.
The chair of the judging panel, Dr Dame Sue Ion, reflected the difficulties faced by Bombardier in Northern Ireland in recent years:
“Bombardier’s composite wing reflects how excellence in aeronautical engineering benefits both society and the environment. At a time of uncertainty for Belfast’s engineering community, we hope this award helps them achieve the world-wide recognition they deserve.”
Michael Ryan from Bombardier said the company was thrilled to win the award: “It’s a fantastic recognition of our highly-skilled workforce, who have created a unique, cutting-edge technology to produce composite wings in Belfast which fly on commercial aircraft around the world.” The MacRobert Award was first presented 50 years ago to the teams that developed the Rolls Royce engine that powered the Harrier jump jet and the Severn Bridge.
Former winners include Freeman, Fox and Partners for the Severn Bridge in the award’s inaugural year, the CT scanner in 1972, and a credit card-sized computer called the Raspberry Pi in 2017.