Bristol, UK – Dowty Propellers production activities have re-started thanks to the National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol, UK. The NCC facility will be utilised on a temporary basis until a Dowty interim facility is up and running.
Just a few weeks after a fire at Dowty Propellers, severely damaged its factory in Gloucester, eight Dowty employees are now based at the NCC facility in Bristol – producing de-icer boots – an integral part of a Dowty Propeller blade.
“These are exceptional circumstances,” said Jessica Ensani, Dowty Propellers plant leader. “The NCC came to our rescue and allowed us to use both a dedicated space and their autoclave machines enabling us to return as swiftly as possible to manufacturing our de-icer boots.”
The de-icer boot is added to the propeller blade to de-ice any accumulation during flight. The de-icer boot contains an internal heating element that melts the ice. The autoclave machines being used at NCC are pressure vessels that combine heat, pressure and a vacuum to process and cure the part being made.
“Dowty’s requirements meant that our facility provides a unique opportunity because of the modern infrastructure and advanced equipment that we have in place and ready to use without major adaptation or installation of complex services. We’re delighted that NCC members agreed to offer Dowty Propellers use of the facility to help get their operations back up and running,” said Tom Hitchings, business development director for NCC.
“De-icer boots are an important part of our new blades, and our repair and overhaul process,” said Oliver Towers, president of Dowty Propellers. “Re-starting manufacture of these parts will ensure continuity in support of our worldwide operators.”
The NCC is a modern facility with all the correct security, environmental, health and safety controls in place. The proximity of NCC also allowed Dowty the ability to re-deploy employees as soon as possible.
About Dowty Propellers
As a leader in the development, manufacture and support of electronically controlled, all-composite propeller systems, Dowty Propellers provides solutions for the propulsion needs of today and tomorrow. Its products are used in applications that range from commercial airliners and military airlifters to multi-role seaplanes and marine hovercraft.
With a proven record of product development, introduction and support, Dowty Propellers continually invests in technologies, production capabilities and human resources – resulting in propeller systems that are safe, efficient and reliable. Its history of firsts-to-market includes the all-composite propeller blade and full-authority digital propeller control. More than 23,000 advanced composite blades have been delivered to date by Dowty Propellers, with the lead blade logging more than 45,000 hours of flight time.