The aviation and aerospace industry is a driver, field of application and nucleus for the cutting-edge technology of lightweight construction. There is a wide range of expertise and experience as well as new and developing structures and activities in Niedersachsen. Thus, in Niedersachsen on its own, more than 25 institutes and research facilities are involved with the topic of lightweight construction in all possible aspects.
A powerful lightweight construction ecosystem has developed in Stade. The CU Nord cluster of Composites United e.V., which is made up of the North German members of the former CFK Valley e.V. and Carbon Composites e.V., is managed from here. Its origins date back to 2004, when CFK Valley e.V. was founded largely through the initiative of the Airbus Group, which is based locally, and which then developed into an international network and merged with Carbon Composites e.V. to form Composites United e.V. in 2019.
In addition to CU Nord and the Airbus plant in Stade, where, among other products, the CFRP vertical stabilizers for the entire A320 family, A330, A350 and A400M aircraft are produced, several other leading players in the composites sector are based in Stade. As a mastermind and pioneer for series-ready lightweight construction using composites, CTC GmbH is driving forward the development of technologies for the automated processing of CFRP and offers rapid results with in-house production for prototypes and small series. At the CFK Nord research center in Stade, DLR, Fraunhofer IFAM and the Research Cooperation of Niedersachsen for the High-Performance Production of CFRP Structures (HP CFRP) are conducting cutting-edge research in the field of composites.
Numerous examples of innovative approaches and successful companies in the lightweight construction sector can also be found in other parts of Niedersachsen. These include, for example, M+D Composites Technology, an innovative development and manufacturing service provider for composite technologies based in Friedeburg. Based in Braunschweig, Invent GmbH is a acknowledged lightweight specialist in innovative fiber composite technologies that develops and produces high-precision structural components, from the initial idea to series production. JH Aircraft from Buxtehude, in turn, is specialized in the development and production of high-performance aircraft in the 120 kg class and, in the case of the Corsair, relies on state-of-the-art lightweight construction technology to combine flight performance, agility and energy efficiency. Further companies, research facilities and institutions in Niedersachsen with competencies relevant to lightweight construction can also be found in the Lightweight Construction Atlas of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK).
Further information on the mentioned companies and research institutions above can be found on the following websites: