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Aurora's Manufacturing Capabilities

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Manufacturing Capabilities

Aurora Flight Sciences offers expertise in the manufacture of composite and metal aerostructures at two sites: North Central West Virginia Airport in Bridgeport, WV and Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Columbus, MS.

The Aurora Flight Sciences of West Virginia (AWV) manufacturing facilities are comprised of almost 100,000 square feet of shop area designed specifically for the manufacture of precision composite (non-metallic and metallic), sheet metal components, and major subassemblies. The Bridgeport facility includes a 42,000 square foot composites facility designed as a showplace for lean aerospace manufacturing. The composites facility includes a 10,000 square foot class 100,000 clean room, autoclaves and extensive non-destructive inspection capabilities including large component ultrasonic C-scan capability. AWV manufactures primary subassemblies for Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk and Triton high altitude long endurance UAS for the US Air Force and the US Navy respectively, for Sikorsky Aircraft’s CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter for the Marine Corp, and for Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider high-speed helicopter.

The Aurora Flight Sciences of Mississippi (AMS) operation fabricates composite aerostructures and major subassemblies. AMS manufactures Sikorsky Aircraft's MH-60R Sonobuoy Launcher, S-92 air stair doors, H-92 weapons pylons, and provides airframe design, assembly and integration of the high performance Orion Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), GoldenEye 80, and other Aurora projects. The facility includes climate-controlled material storage and composite fabrication space necessary to produce high-quality airframe assemblies.

In the fall of 2008, Aurora opened a 66,000 square foot addition to the AMS facility giving 88,000 square feet to meet growing demand for high-quality aircraft and aerostructures being fabricated in Mississippi. In late 2012, Aurora will open another 30,000 square foot facility at the AMS site for high-volume aerospace manufacturing capabilities including automated fiber placement equipment, 16’ x 40’ autoclave, high speed 5 axis NC trim equipment, and advanced 10 axis C-scan NDI equipment.

  • Composite aerospace structures fabrication
    • Primary & secondary structures design, tooling, fabrication and assembly
    • Laminate and honeycomb sandwich construction
    • Secondary bonding
    • In and out of autoclave processes
  • Sub and major assembly of structures
    • Composite and metallic
    • Metal bond
    • Wire harness fabrication, test, & installation
  • Final assembly and integration of complete air vehicles
    • Flight controls surfaces and rigging
    • Systems installation
    • Integration and flight acceptance
  • Over 200,000 sq. ft. of Manufacturing Infrastructure
    • Located on 2 airport facilities and close to highway transport
    • Additional acreage for any required expansion (WV & MS)
    • AS9100C certifications, Nadcap accreditations, and prime customer special process certifications
    • Visual Enterprise resource planning (ERP) common for both WV & MS
  • Autoclaves
    • 16’ X 40’ 350 degrees and 150 PSI (fall 2012)
    • 8' X 26' 350 degrees and 105 PSI
    • 6' X 10' 350 degrees and 105 PSI
    • 4' X 8' 390 degrees and 190 PSI
  • Large cure ovens (8' X 40' and 8’ X 24’) with digital data acquisition
  • NDI Processes
    • Ultrasonic A-Scan
    • Through transmission C-Scan with up to 50’ part scan lengths
    • Shearography
    • Phased array
    • Conventional eddy current, hardness, and dye pen inspection
  • Composite Center
    • Virtek Laser Ply Placement Systems
    • Gerber and Eastman Fabric Kit Cutter Systems
  • Machining cells for light and heavy metals
    • High Speed 5-axis router with 50’ table (spring 2013)
    • Five CNC 3-axis machining cells
    • Three CNC 5-axis machining cells
    • Water Jet router
    • Small N/C router
    • N/C lathe
  • Wing load testing