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Bladon opens new engineering base

Bladon Jets, a pioneer of breakthrough micro jet engine technology, has opened an all-new engineering center in Coventry, UK. The base houses advanced manufacturing and development facilities that will help the company prepare its technologies for volume production.

Bladon’s engineering center was formally opened by Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Sons, which is an investor in the company through its UK subsidiary Tata Ltd. Also at the opening was Paul Barrett, chairman and technical director of Bladon Jets, who said: “The opening of our new engineering center is a major milestone in achieving our goal of turning Bladon Jets into an industry-leading global business.

“As we undertake the exciting next stage of our evolution, this center will provide us with vital new resources to accelerate the development of our micro gas turbines as we gear up for volume manufacture.

“Coventry is at the heart of the UK motor industry, as well as being a growing center of excellence for the next generation of low-carbon vehicle technologies. Our new base gives us access to a wealth of engineering skills and expertise, and brings us closer to many of our key suppliers and partners.”

Bladon Jets – which provided the experimental propulsion unit behind the stunning Jaguar C-X75 hybrid electric concept car – is a pioneer in realizing the creation of miniaturized jet engines. The small, light and clean-burning power units are ideally suited to the needs of a number of fast-growing markets and applications, especially range-extender vehicles.

Having developed the patented manufacturing technology that makes it possible to produce the micro power units, Bladon Jets is currently working with its partners and suppliers to commercialize products for these volume markets.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Tata said: “It gives me great pleasure to open the new Bladon Jets engineering center, and to mark a significant step forward in the evolution of this innovative company.”

The new facility employs 15 people, and houses the state-of-the-art design tools, analysis equipment and production machines required to develop and produce micro jet engines. Key technologies include the Electric Discharge Machining spark erosion machines that are capable of creating ultra-high-precision turbine components required for the micro jets. These components are machined from solid metal, with an accuracy of +/- 5 microns – just one-twentieth the width of a human hair.

“We have led the industry in developing advanced manufacturing techniques using EDM, and the new center gives us access to the latest design and production technologies under one roof,” added Barrett.

 

6 February 2012


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