Dowty Propellers to build new aircraft propeller system facility in UK


GE Aviation unit Dowty Propellers has received approval to build a new facility to manufacture aircraft propeller systems in Gloucester, UK.

Construction of the new facility follows an incident in February 2015, when a fire destroyed the company’s operating headquarters and blade manufacturing facility at Mitcheldean, Gloucester.

Dowty Propellers will decide on the exact location of the new facility by the end of this year upon completion of a tender process.

“Our new facility will maintain close ties to our existing workforce and supply network, and will incorporate the latest GE ‘Brilliant Factory’ philosophy.”

The planned facility is due to be operational by 2019.

Dowty Propellers president Oliver Towers said: “The decision to stay in this area was driven by the capabilities and commitment of our workforce that stretches back over 80 years.

“This decision, along with our launch of the UK-supported Digital Propulsion project, will enable us to maintain our position as a world leader in propeller systems with the latest technology, supported by world-class research and development.

“Our new facility will maintain close ties to our existing workforce and supply network, and will incorporate the latest GE ‘Brilliant Factory’ philosophy.”

Dowty Propellers has also started construction of the new £20m Digital Propulsion technology development project to provide capabilities for both propeller systems and future propulsion systems.

Digital Propulsion is match-funded by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy through the Aerospace Technology Institute Programme with a £9.5m grant.

Overseen by Innovate UK, the project also includes National Composites Centre, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the Manufacturing Technology Centre as partners.

Dowty Propellers currently produces aircraft propeller systems for both civil and military applications.