Starting with their eye-catching shapes, propellers are one of the most fascinating aviation products.
Dowty Propellers is a world-leading business for aircraft propeller systems, for both civil and military applications. With a worldwide customer and product support network (including Europe, North America, Asia and Australia), Dowty Propellers is a pioneer in all-composite propeller blade technology. Since its founding in 1937, the business has been producing state-of-the-art propellers, logging in excess of 300 million in-service flying hours. More than 28,000 advanced composite blades have been delivered by Dowty Propellers, with the lead-blade logging more than 45,000 hours of flight time.
Unfortunately, in February 2015, a fire destroyed the operating headquarters and blade manufacturing facility in the Gloucester area.
On October 10, after successfully supporting its customers based in interim facilities following the tragedy, Dowty Propellers has broken ground on its new manufacturing facility at Gloucester Business Park.
“We’ve built a strong heritage in the area and are proud that we are continuing our history of working in Gloucester,” said Dowty Propellers’ President Oliver Towers at the site ground-breaking ceremony. “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 brand-new facility, which is planned to be opened by the end of 2019, is located in Hucclecote, Gloucestershire. It will be the new business headquarters, as well as the production and repair facility for Dowty employees in the UK.
The future is bright for Dowty Propellers. The new facility will incorporate the latest ‘Brilliant Factory’ technologies, allowing data to be analyzed in real time, and Dowty Propellers is participating in a £20M technology development project to deliver capabilities for both propeller and future propulsion systems. The project, called 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 UK Aerospace Minister Richard Harrington, said: “This announcement is another vote of confidence in the UK’s world-class aerospace manufacturing and engineering industry. Dowty’s new facility 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.”
Dowty Propellers’ excellence and its successful recovery from the 2015 fire was recognized with an Award to Industry from the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers & Coach Harness Makers of London.
Excitement around Dowty Propellers’ new all-encompassing site is building and everyone is looking forward to next year.