Power management company Eaton has acquired Cobham Mission Systems, a manufacturer of air-to-air refueling systems, environmental systems, and actuation, primarily for defense markets. The business has a workforce of approximately 2,000 people and manufacturing facilities in the United States and United Kingdom.

Heath Monesmith, president and COO, Industrial Sector, Eaton, says, “This acquisition, along with our prior acquisition of Souriau-Sunbank Connection Technologies, positions our aerospace business well for the future.”

GKN Aerospace delivers integrated structures for all-electric Alice

Eviation’s Alice prototype at the Paris Air Show, 2019.

Tier 1 supplier GKN Aerospace has delivered the first fully integrated wings, empennage, and electrical wiring interconnect system (EWIS) for Eviation’s Alice all-electric aircraft. The wings and empennage feature advanced composite technology and are the first GKN Aerospace has supplied as fully integrated structures.

GKN Aerospace and Eviation announced their collaboration on the design and manufacture of the parts in May 2020. The rapid development and delivery show GKN Aerospace’s ability to support fast time-to-market of electrical aircraft. Alice is preparing for its first flight later this year and will fly nine passengers up to 440nm.

Sierra Space advances storable liquid propulsion system

The commercial space subsidiary of aerospace and defense company Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC), Sierra Space, completed testing of its storable, hypergolic liquid rocket propulsion system. Designed for orbit transfer, maneuvering, and guidance control, the Vortex engine cooling technology enables a compact and highly reliable propulsion system that can be stored for a long time on the ground and in space.

The engine design promotes efficient, stable combustion while maintaining cool combustion chamber walls, enabling a more compact engine chamber while sustaining high performance, and allowing rapid adaptation to multiple propellants. The propulsion system can be scaled to suit applications including upper stage boosters, missile systems, in-space propulsion, guidance, reaction control, and extraterrestrial ascent and descent.

Hypergolic propellants automatically ignite upon mixing, removing the mechanical complexity of a traditional ignition system. Sierra Space tested the system from 1,500 lb to 6,000 lb of thrust.

Tom Crabb, vice president of Sierra Space’s Propulsion & Environmental Systems group, says, “New capabilities in next-generation engines could include throttling and multi-thrust capability in a single thruster.”

Miami Valley Research Park new home for GE Aviation manufacturing

GE Aviation recently broke ground on its new lean engine component manufacturing facility for civil, military aviation, and aero-derivative applications. The facility will be built on 53 acres in the Miami Valley Research Park in Beavercreek, Ohio, a Dayton suburb.

The 280,000ft2 facility is expected to be completed by Q1 2022 and fully operational by the end of 2022. The new facility will combine operations from seven buildings into one to optimize manufacturing and advanced technology development. GE currently has approximately 400 hourly and salaried employees who will work there.