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Cranfield and ARA Partnership creates dominant player in aerospace research

Written by: Mary

Cranfield University (which includes Cranfield Aerospace Ltd) and ARA Ltd are entering the first phase of an innovative collaboration following the signing of a Strategic Partnership Agreement.

This alliance will combine Cranfield’s internationally acclaimed facilities and aerospace capabilities with ARA Ltd’s renowned aerodynamic services. Together, two of the UK’s sector leaders will be further recognized as significant players within aerospace and related markets on a global scale.

The Strategic Partnership Agreement will have the capability to provide a single streamline process for the research and development of new technology within the aerospace industry. Customers will be able to place a single contract capable of developing projects from initial concept to final production rather than embark on a costly, time consuming and complex multi-supplier route.

High productivity weapon release testing from
the KAI T-50 aircraft using the ARA Two Sting Rig

Professor Clifford Friend, Cranfield University Deputy Vice-Chancellor commented “The combined capability of our organisations will bring a dynamic and distinctive research and technology offering into the global Aerospace Sector. We are confident that as this partnership develops it will reinforce our position as forerunners in aerospace and aerodynamic research.”

Dougie Hunter (ARA CEO) commented “This partnership with Cranfield University creates a unique and strong provider of Aerospace Research and Development capability and services to our customers worldwide”

Additional images are available on request.

Cranfield University is a wholly postgraduate institution with a worldwide reputation for excellence and expertise in aerospace, automotive, defence, engineering, environment and water, health, management and manufacturing. The University is made up of the following Schools: Cranfield Health, School of Management, School of Applied Sciences, School of Engineering, and Cranfield Defence and Security at Shrivenham. For more information visit

The Aircraft Research Association was established in 1952 as a wind tunnel test centre for the UK aircraft industry by 14 British aerospace companies. Today, this independent non-profit distributing research and development company has gained worldwide recognition as a centre of excellence, providing the aerospace industry with high quality aerodynamic and related services and facilities to support the design, development and through-life upgrades of commercial aircraft, military aircraft and defence system programmes. For more information visit

For further information please contact: Media Relations, Cranfield University, tel: +44 (0) 1234 754999,