During the early 2000’s CTG identified that aircraft were going to increasingly need to become more reliant upon lightweight composite products and systems in order to improve fuel efficiency, longevity and cost. CTG recognised that transmission shafts could contribute significantly to these improvements. In fixed wings aircrafts, transmission shafts are found in the actuation systems operating the flying surfaces. Existing transmission shafts were made from high grade steel or aluminium and were heavy and bulky, with little room for optimisation.
The challenge for CTG therefore was: where could the company use its advanced composite design and manufacturing expertise to offer a lightweight solution where others had faltered.
CTG’s advanced transmission shaft technology was already extremely successful in high performance automotive applications; enabling the technology to be transferred across to aerospace.
CTG realised that the aerospace market would not favour reliance upon adhesives joining the metal flange to the composite structure. Fortunately CTG has patented joint technology which relied purely upon the mechanics of materials with zero reliance upon adhesives. The aerospace market could not quite believe the joint solution; which passed extensive qualification and testing with flying colours.
As well as being lightweight (a titanium shaft has a mass per metre of 1,200g; a CTG composite shaft has a mass per metre of just 280g), composites are
extremely strong which means the transmission shafts are scalable, resulting in a reduction in parts and further weight savings. To date CTG’s transmission
shafts are on Airbus A330, A340, A350, A380 and A400M, Bombardier C-Series, Boeing 787 and JSF F-35 Lightning.