Griffon Aerospace offers a full complement of aerospace design, manufacturing, and testing of aerospace products. Our core expertise is in composite design and manufacturing. Griffon’s primary revenue is from the design and manufacture of unmanned aircraft systems. Our design of unmanned aircraft has allowed Griffon to develop a number of supporting competencies in the design of electronic systems, integration of payloads, design and fabrication of related Ground Support Equipment (GSE) including the design and fabrication of metal structures, and all required logistical support functions. Finally Griffon has developed a large flight operations department that supports missions around the world.
Griffon has developed considerable engineering capabilities in the execution of our many projects. Our capabilities begin with a strong engineering department equipped with the latest design tools, equipment, and proven processes available. Our primary strengths are:
UAS Design – As a designer and developer of both manned and unmanned air vehicles, ground support equipment, and providing flight operations Griffon provides customers over a decade of proven capability in UAS design.All of our design processes are Our design process managed under of ISO 9001:2008 Quality System.Within the QMS, our design process defines the major phases and required formal reviews. Our process outlines of fully electronic configuration controlled drawing and related documentation. Our SolidWorks 3D CAD system includes automated tools for controlling drawings and design configurations.
Aerodynamic Design and Analysis – Griffon’s past performance in aircraft design has allowed us to develop tools and a network of specialist and experts to optimize our designs. Our capability spans the range from linear theory methods to Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes solvers. Griffon offers computational analysis and design of configurations ranging from 2-D airfoils to fan and rotor blades to complete configuration analysis. The linear theory tools are particularly well suited for the preliminary design environment, providing rapid turn-around of analyses of aircraft. Our use of modern design tools allows us to export solid models and work virtually with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) experts from around the country. These aerodynamic analysis tools are central part of establishing keeping designs cost effective and removing the limitations and high cost of wind tunnel testing eliminating the inherent inconsistency, and correction factors. CFD allows us to analyze fluid flow problems in detail, at the earliest stages in the design cycle for less money and lower risk.
Structural Design, Analysis, & Test – Finite Element Modeling to aid in the design of structural components. Buckling analysis, modal analysis, and non-linear solutions are a few examples of FEM uses within Scaled. FEM is used in conjunction with other design software and hand calculations to provide very reliable structural designs. Our modeling techniques have been extensively validated through test results of small and large scale structures. Griffon’s capabilities in advanced composite structures includes a decade long effort R&D effort with Northrop Grumman and NASA proving the viability of large out-of-autoclave composite structures for use on next generation NASA spacecraft. Griffon is similarly experienced in the design and integration of aircraft systems. Such as landing gear and braking systems designed and fabricated in-house, integrated of single and twin engine configurations. Our expertise also includes system components such as flight controls, hydraulics, fuel, avionics, and electrical systems successfully integrated into over 3600 Griffon air vehicles. We have also been involved with parachute recovery systems and other specialty systems. Griffon is experienced at the design and fabrication of structural test fixtures and at test execution.
Composite Tooling – Griffon has the facilities and tools necessary to produce tooling for composite parts very quickly and accurately. The primary tool is a 5-axis numerically controlled (NC) gantry router. This machine can work within a 20′ X 10′ X 3′ envelope. Our 5 axis router is networked to our CAD stations where surfaces of many different formats from customers can be downloaded to generate tool-path information that is fed to the NC machine. Using these fully automated techniques allows Griffon to rapidly produce accurate tooling and to implement changes with relative ease. Rapid production of tooling in-house eliminates errors in transmitting design details and months of tooling design and production at a subcontractor. Our ability to fully control the process from conceptual design to tooling minimizes cost and risk. For a larger scale production project production-quality hard tools can be constructed from plugs that are made on the NC machine. Although aircraft is our primary product, obviously our tooling can be used for anything that requires composite parts.
Flight Test – Our full service flight operations department conducts missions worldwide. This capability allows Griffon to easily execute flight test programs. Our aircraft have been through safety assessments flying routinely at DOD and FMS installations. Many of our engineers are passionate about flying and work regularly in the flight operations department, supplementing our pilot teams during peak and surge periods. Griffon maintains a comprehensive data acquisition capability that includes real-time air-to-ground telemetry capability. Data reduction can be performed in real-time and displayed to the pilots and ground crew. Our system of airborne computers, recorders and transducers combined with ground-based facilities provides complete information to our engineers. Data and reports can be provided to customers in any preferred format. Griffon has flight tested 9 different aircraft over the past decade.
Production – Griffon regularly produces between 25-30 aircraft per month and regularly, 2-3 times a year, is required to ramp to 50-60 a month based on contract requirements. Most UAS manufacturers use traditional low volume “team production” methods building unmanned air vehicles with a group of technicians at at a station. Griffon has truly forged through volume and cost constraints a true “assembly line” using “cell manufacturing” methods. Griffon is ISO 9001:2008 registered and is fully compliant with AS-9100 requirements allowing Griffon products maintain a less than 1% loss rate after nearly a decade of flying. Although Griffon frequently uses the “team production” methods for more complex NASA structures, we understand the significant cost benefits of “assembly line” production. The production shop is supported with a large crew of electrical technicians, metal fabricators, MIG and TIG welders, and painters using our large paint booths.
Advanced Composite Structures – Griffon has a full complement of composite production facilities and tools. Our capabilities begin with our ability to design and fabricate our own molds using our 5-axis router. A large area for dry class storage and pattern cutting, a large frozen storage capacity for Prepreg material to accomplish large scale projects. Our Prepreg capabilities include a large temperature controlled clean area to measure, cut material, layup material in molds, and two large curing ovens. For more information highlight the Advanced Composites section under the Capabilities.