10 Bremen Companies in the Aviation and Aerospace SectorAerospace
Examples from the aerospace sector in the Hanseatic city
It's primarily thanks to companies involved in the aviation and aerospace sector that Bremen is also known as the "City of Space". This article provides an introduction to ten companies in this sector.
In Bremen, 140 companies, 20 institutes and around 12,000 people make their living from the aviation and aerospace industry, generating annual revenues worth billions of Euros. Ever since 1909, when the first "Bremer Verein für Luftschifffahrt" (Bremen Association for Airship Travel) was founded, Bremen has hit the headlines time and again with innovations such as: the first airworthy helicopter, the GALILEO navigation satellites, contributions to the ISS International Space Station such as the Columbus research laboratory or, most recently, contributions to NASA's Orion exploration vehicle which will set off for the moon in 2023.
The companies we've chosen as examples here showcase the range of facilities and opportunities offered by Bremen:
10 Bremen companies in the aviation and aerospace sector
- Airbus Group
The Airbus site in Airport-City Bremen, the second largest Airbus site in Germany, is the centre for the high-lift systems used by every aircraft in the group and a major aerospace supplier. It is a driving force for the European aerospace industry and Bremen's economy alike. Research and development are especially well represented. Bremen is unique in that it is home to two Airbus divisions – the Commercial division and the Defence and Space division. When it comes to defence and space, Bremen is the European competence centre for astronautical space flight, launch vehicles and space robotics. It is where the ISS's Columbus space laboratory was created. The latest addition to Airbus in Bremen is the new ZEDC – the "Zero Emission Development Center", which is researching the possibility of emission-free flight, powered by hydrogen.
- The Ariane Group
Europe's space group is developing and building the upper stages of the Ariane launch vehicles in Bremen, including the upper stage of the Ariane 6 rocket, which is due to launch for the first time in 2022. The manufacturing facilities here are complemented by expertise in research and development. Bremen is where the metal tanks which hold the liquid hydrogen for the upper stages of the rockets are being built. The next generation of commercial aircraft will also benefit from the highly specialised expertise of Bremen's aerospace engineers, who are currently developing hydrogen tanks for this application.
- OHB SE
OHB is a real success story for Bremen. From its humble beginnings in a backyard workshop in the 1980s, this company has grown to become a global player in space technology and now employs more than 2,900 staff in its subsidiaries world-wide. In addition to manufacturing its own satellites and running a digital services division, the company is also involved with the Rocket Factory in Augsburg, which is currently developing its own micro launcher. If the initial ideas prove successful, the project's mini rockets will be launched into space from a space port in the North Sea.
- ZARM Technik AG
ZARM Technik AG is a familiar name to anyone who's involved with putting satellites into space. Its 30-strong team builds magnetic torquers: devices that can rotate satellites in space around their own axis without any need for movable parts. The company's products are so successful that they are in demand from satellite manufacturers all over the world.
- AES Aircraft Elektro/Elektronik System
AES specialises in lighting, electrical, communications and power supply systems. It installs electrical systems in the cabins of aircraft used primarily in the field of VIP aviation, either for private use or for military aircraft used by the Special Air Mission Wing of the German Federal Ministry of Defence. Examples include LED strips and lights for floors and ceilings, on-board Internet and telephone cabling or control systems for on-board cooking facilities.
- Testia GmbH
Testia is an Airbus subsidiary. It specialises in ensuring that aircraft can take off safely, from their maiden flight onwards. To achieve this, the company checks that components are working properly, both when they are manufactured and also during maintenance. Alongside its own tests, the company teaches testers the skills they need to perform non-destructive testing, so that they can independently approve aircraft components anywhere in the world. In addition, the company is involved in research projects intended to make advancements in materials testing in new areas such as 3D printing.
A whole range of Bremen-based start-ups are working with intelligent software to make the aviation and aerospace industry sector more efficient or to derive new knowledge from the terabytes of available data gathered by satellites. They are helped in their endeavours by the ESA Business Incubation Centre Northern Germany (ESA BIC NG), which is supported by Starthaus Bremen, the city's agency for supporting start-ups. One of them is Drift&Noise. This company uses satellite data to enable ships to navigate through polar regions using automated systems.
- Hanseatic Aviation Solutions GmbH
Nowadays, drones are performing all kinds tasks – they are small, agile, cheap and robust. This Bremen-based drones specialist builds two different drones, with a width of 2 or 3.5 meters. They can carry small loads for between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours. The very smallest ones can be used for monitoring or investigation in the context of environmental protection or by the emergency services, or for monitoring border areas. They can take pictures of large areas of land or help during land surveys. They can either be controlled by pilots or can follow flight routes automatically.
- Haindl Kunststoffverarbeitung GmbH
The lighter an aircraft is, the more efficient it is, and the cheaper it is to fly. That is why the use of composite plastic materials such as carbon fibre composites (CFCs) has been growing for many years. The Bremen company Haindl designs, plans and builds components from composite materials, as bespoke products, prototypes and short-run products. In the aviation sector, it works on landing flaps, on drones and on test devices.
- Frequentis Orthogon GmbH
Every airport is like a little town, employing thousands of people in numerous trades, whilst also operating a complex traffic system with many different aircraft and road vehicles that have to be properly coordinated and managed. Orthogon – which recently became part of the Vienna-based Frequentis group – develops software that is used to manage the complex processes at airports and in the air, helping air traffic controllers keep a close eye on everything that is happening at all times.
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