Aurora's Production Experiences


Wings and Lifting Surfaces

Phantom Eye Wing

Aurora has developed and produced wings that spans up to 150 feet. We support our customers through design development, material selection and testing, engineering analysis, tooling, structural testing and production. In 2011, Aurora won Aviation Week magazine’s “Most Innovative Product” award for The Phantom Eye Wing for Boeing.

Global Hawk

Aurora has been a member of Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk team since 1995. Aurora’s Global Hawk work share includes all of the aircraft’s composite components (including the Aft Fuselage, Forward Nacelle, Mid Nacelle, Aft Nacelle, and V-Tail Assemblies), except for the wing and radomes. In 2008 Aurora also became a supplier on the Northrop Grumman RQ-4N aircraft for U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS) program.

Automated Fiber Placement

As a result of our demonstrated success with numerous wing and lifting surface products, we were able to branch into the commercial aircraft market segment where we will start production of empennage structures in a high rate production environment using Automated Fiber Placement (AFP).



Global Hawk Aft Fuselage

Aurora has been building the aft fuselage assemblies for the Global Hawk aircraft since 2001. In this work package, Aurora builds and assembles several hundred composite and titanium parts into finished assemblies.


Orion is Aurora’s long-endurance, Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) capable of providing extreme persistence for military applications, such as ISR, communications relay and strike. Orion was competitively selected by the US Air Force for the Medium Altitude Global ISR and Communication (MAGIC) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD). The MAGIC JCTD is sponsored by the US Central Command (CENTCOM) to meet its demand for persistent ISR. For the U. S. Air Force Aurora produces the fuselage of the Orion UAS air vehicle. The Orion fuselage is a composite bonded assembly with provisions for an integral fuel tank and landing gear attachments.

S-97 Raider

Aurora Flight Sciences is a member of the Sikorsky S-97 RAIDER™ team that is building a next-generation light tactical helicopter for evaluation by the U.S. military. As an S-97 team member, Aurora is responsible for the structural design engineering and fabrication for the aircraft’s airframes. Aurora’s role on the RAIDER program leverages the company’s demonstrated success in air vehicle design, rapid prototyping and successful transition from prototype programs into production. In 2011, Sikorsky recognized Aurora for its design and manufacturing work as “Supplier of the Year” for aerostructures and as a “Gold Supplier” for outstanding quality, delivery and customer service.

The latest program information can be found @


Control Surfaces


The United States Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) program provides persistent maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) data collection and dissemination capability to the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF). Aurora is a major subcontractor on Northrop’s BAMS team. Aurora develops and produces conventional control surface products in accordance with various customer requirements; we have designed and built a variety of composite control surface products. These products encompass the full spectrum of metal to composite materials and bonding technologies, through our engineering and tooling capabilities, we are capable of meeting stringent tolerance requirements that enable our products to be line replaceable units (LRUs).


Engine Nacelles

CH-53K Nacelles

Aurora is currently producing engine inlet and nacelles for three Department of Defense programs. For Sikorsky’s CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopter program we provide production tooling and fabrication of the external engine nacelles. On the U.S. Air Force Global Hawk and U.S. Navy BAMS programs, Aurora is producing the engine inlets as well as the engine nacelles. These engine inlet products include various electro thermal anti-icing systems.


Radomes, Fairings, and Pylons

CH-53K Main Motor Pylon

On Sikorsky’s CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopter, Aurora is a design partner to Sikorsky for the Main Rotor Pylon where the company responsibilities include CAD modeling, engineering analysis, tooling and tear down article fabrication. This complex structure was designed and built to withstand high temperature and vibration requirements. The CH-53K Main Rotor Pylon is comprised of interchangeable composite fairings that install upon a modular composite frame and titanium firewall assemblies.

BAMS Radome

Aurora has developed and produced composite radomes for Boeing’s EA-18G and Northrop Grumman’s BAMS aircraft. Our radomes expertise includes design, development, tooling, radio frequency testing through first part qualification and production. Radomes have been fabricated using out-of-autoclave (OOA) and cyanate ester resin systems with various quartz fiber reinforcements. Aurora has used both traditional honeycomb core reinforcements as well as heat formed and hammer spliced phenolic honeycomb core. Aurora works closely with our customers to ensure that all design and qualification/production testing achieve the desired performance requirements while providing for a repeatable process.


Doors and Reinforced Structures

S-92 Lower Air Stair Door

Aurora has been producing the S-92 Lower Air Stair Door for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation since 2007. The Aurora team developed a first test article and within the first month achieved full rate production. Aurora also builds the Upper Clam Shell Door for the S-92 which is made of sandwich construction composite panels and machined metal components this product is shipped as a finished product to the final assembly line of the S-92 production plant.