Global aerospace is driving a high-tech industrial renaissance in the British Midlands region, and the Midlands Aerospace Alliance (MAA) is at the show to promote its members' capabilities (Hall 4, Stand E7).

The MAA - the UK's newest regional grouping - has the evidence to back up its claims. It carried out a survey recently that shows a significant percentage of the region's aerospace suppliers are involved in major global programmes.

The survey, conducted in the quarter leading up to Farnborough, revealed that 65% of the 120 companies responding supply the Rolls-Royce Trent engine programme. More than 60% also participate in the Eurofighter, Airbus A380 and Airbus A340/330 programmes, while 54% supply the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme.


Midlands companies also cite their participation on the Boeing 777, Bombardier Global Express, ASRAAM missile and Storm Shadow missile programmes.

MAA co-ordinator Dr Andrew Mair says: "Aerospace is a jewel in the region's high technology crown.

"Our cluster of leading-edge aerospace companies is investing in the aerospace programmes of future decades.

"Global aerospace recognises the core competencies of the Midlands, as our survey shows."

The Midlands is home to one of the United Kingdom and Europe's most significant aerospace industry clusters. More than 700 firms with significant presence in the area contribute directly to aerospace supply chains. The sector directly generates more than 45,000 jobs in Midlands companies, many of them high-skill programme development and management or manufacturing jobs. Thousands of other jobs are generated by supporting companies and organisations.

Key players with bases in the region include Rolls-Royce Aerospace, headquartered in Derby; Goodrich Engine Controls in Birmingham; Goodrich Actuation Systems in Wolverhampton; Smiths Aerospace Actuation Systems in Wolverhampton; Dunlop Aerospace in Coventry; HS Marston Aerospace in Wolverhampton; and Roxel Rocket Motors in Kidderminster.

In addition, suppliers further down the chain have chosen to locate their primary manufacturing sites in the region that has always been known as England's industrial heartland, cradle of the Industrial Revolution.

The Midlands is renowned for its advanced engineering capabilities in electro-mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical and other components. Much of the expertise was developed during a century of leading-edge manufacturing for the automotive industry.


A cluster of specialist technology suppliers focuses on processing advanced aerospace metals and composite materials. Other specialist companies supply airframe, avionics, and other aerospace markets.

Programme wins supported by major investments point the way to strong growth and a welcome mood of optimism. These include the selection of Rolls-Royce and Smiths for the Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner programme, major new investment by Rolls-Royce in its Derby and Hucknall sites, and selection of Hampson for the GP7000 and PW6000 engine programmes. The opening of the Systems Engineering Innovation Centre, backed by BAE Systems, at Loughborough University, is a significant step in further development of the region's research capability.

Source: Flight Daily News