Gloucester, United Kingdom – Dowty Propellers, a leading manufacturer of aircraft propeller systems for both civil and military applications, has broken ground on its new manufacturing facility at Gloucester Business Park.
The facility in Hucclecote, Gloucestershire, includes manufacturing space and office accommodation. It will be the new business headquarters as well as the production and repair facility for Dowty employees in the UK, who are currently working out of interim facilities in the Gloucestershire area.
The facility will incorporate the latest ‘Brilliant Factory’ technology which equips machines with sensors, allowing data to be analysed in real time. The site is expected to be operationally ready by the end of 2019. Employees will progressively transfer to the new facility once it is operational.
In 2017, Dowty Propellers announced its commitment to continue operations in the Gloucester area following a fire that destroyed its operating headquarters and blade manufacturing facility in February 2015.
“Our investment in the new facility demonstrates our commitment to the future of Dowty Propellers and the future potential of our people and products,” said Dowty President Oliver Towers at the site ground breaking ceremony. “We’ve built a strong heritage in the area and are proud that we are continuing our history of working in Gloucester. This new facility will allow us to operate in a bespoke environment that ensures we continue our position as a world leader in the design, development, manufacture and support of electronically controlled, all-composite propeller systems.”
The ground breaking ceremony was led by Oliver Towers, Dowty Propellers President. The ceremony was also attended by a host of dignitaries from organisations including Arlington, owners of Gloucester Business Park, and Winvic Construction, and it officially marked the commencement of construction.
Aerospace Minister Richard Harrington commented: “Today’s announcement is another vote of confidence in the UK’s world-class aerospace manufacturing and engineering industry. Dowty’s new facility will pioneer technologies for both civil and military aircraft and this decision shows how our modern Industrial Strategy is ensuring the UK remains a hub for high-skilled work and technology both now and in the future.”
The company’s propeller system excellence and its successful recovery from the 2015 fire has been recognised with an Award to Industry from the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers & Coach Harness Makers of London – an organisation that provides a forum for those with common interests in automotive, aerospace and other industries, along with the armed forces.
Dowty Propellers is also participating in a £20M technology development project to deliver capabilities for both propeller systems and future propulsion systems. The project, Digital Propulsion, is match funded by the UK government and supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute with a grant of £9.5 million. Partners include the UK’s National Composites Centre, The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.
The project has completed the first of three years’ activity, and good progress has been made on defining the concepts that will deliver the project objectives, ultimately ensuring that the UK remains a leader in propeller system development and support.
James Raven, Managing Director of Arlington said “We are delighted to help Dowty move back to Gloucester and it is great news that Dowty has decided to commit to this major investment at Gloucester Business Park. As a business we are determined to maintain Arlington’s 100% track record of delivery for our customers on time and on budget, and to continue to build on the positive momentum both at Gloucester and across our wider portfolio.”
Gloucester Business Park is home to a large business community of more than 70 companies, including extensive onsite amenities and is located at Junction 11a of the M5 and A417 dual carriageway.
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 28,000 advanced composite blades have been delivered to date by Dowty Propellers, with the lead blade logging more than 45,000 hours of flight time.