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Collins Aerospace Unit to Make Next-Gen Aircraft, Hypersonic Weapons

Raytheon Technologies subsidiary Collins Aerospace has merged two business units to form a new group to develop next-generation aircraft and hypersonic weapon components, Defense One reported, citing the unit president.

Called Advanced Structures, the group is an amalgamation of two Collins business units: Mechanical Systems and Aerostructures. 

The former builds aircraft parts such as “landing gear, wheels and brakes, and propellers,” and the later “nacelles, the casing wrapped around a plane’s engine,” the outlet wrote.

New Composite Materials

Group president Samir Mehta told the outlet that the company is “reimagining” how aircraft are constructed, using new composite materials such as carbon-carbon, currently used in brake discs and pads. 

According to the president, the material could be used to make heat-resistant aircraft structures for high-speed flight.

“One of the challenges in hypersonics is you have to protect the payload in the most extreme environment,” Mehta said. 

“You think about the friction, you think about some of the heat characteristics and requirements, that a hypersonic, whether it’s a projectile or whether it’s an aircraft. This is the type of material that helps solve that particular problem.”

The group will also develop technologies for “next-generation” aircraft, including shape-changing wings capable of controlling aircraft flight, unlike traditional aircraft wings that depend on “moving slats and flaps that control a plane’s direction, altitude, and speed.”

‘Whole Host of Technologies Under One Roof’

“This isn’t about company synergies or anything like that,” Mehta was quoted by Defense One as saying. 

“This is really about taking the industrial capability that exists in one part of the organization, some of the enabling technologies that exist in another part of the organization, and putting them together to help change and to help grow what our aerostructures business can do.”

According to Mehta, the reorganization of the business will allow them to provide a whole host of technologies “under one roof,” giving them a leg up against manufacturers that “solely build aircraft structures.”

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