Innovations in Advanced Components



Our team is comprised of industry veterans and highly-skilled, experienced engineers creating a blend of specialized disciplines and a broad technical knowledgebase. Padden Design Engineering utilizes an Engineering Standard Work concept in order to control the cost, schedule and quality of our work. Our standard work includes a state of the art suite of software tools, proven processes and procedures and an extensive library of specifications and design standards. Padden Design Engineering complies with DoD and federal regulations including the cyber security and reporting regulations 48 CFR 52.204-21, DFARS 252.204-7012, and NIST SP800-171 cyber security standard.

Engineering Management

Main - Engineering ManagementEach project is led by our experienced management team focused on task based steps to achieving project goals. We provide our customers with engineering planning and reporting, tracking project schedule milestones, costs, and technical requirements compliance. PDE utilizes a risk management process backed by legacy program archives and lessons learned database.


  • New Design and Modifications Leadership
  • Engineering Planning & Reporting, WBS Cost Tracking/Earned Value
  • Statement of Work and Technical Requirements Definition & Design Specs
  • Concept Definition & Design Optimization
  • Integrated Product Team Management
  • Risk Assessment & Management
  • Systems Engineering Management Planning
  • Interface Control & Management
  • Configuration Management

Design Engineering

Design Engineering State of the art, enterprise level parametric design software serves as the fundamental tool we use to conceptualize, define in detail and create digital pre-assemblies which are used in downstream tool design and manufacture. We have developed a mature design platform that is rich in capability including:


  • Class A Surface Modeling & Aero/Hydro Lines Development
  • Mechanical & Electromechanical Assemblies
  • Composite & Metallic Structural Design
  • Tolerance Definition
  • Kinematic Simulation of Mechanical Assemblies
  • Large Assembly Models & Digital Mockups
  • BOM Management (Bill of Materials)


PDE follows company and industry standards in defining 3D models and 2D drawings. Our designs are backed by in depth geometrical studies including statistical tolerancing, kinematics and clearance analyses. The sophistication of our design tools enable our design team to explore multiple iterations of concepts in a relatively short period of time proving out a valid optimal design for each application.

Materials & Process Engineering

Materials & Process EngineeringEach design concept at PDE starts with a set of requirements that drive the configuration, specifications, manufacturing processes and finishes. We have a broad range of proprietary as well as industry standard specifications available. Our digital models are embedded with material specifications and properties from our standard material libraries ensuring consistency in structural analyses, drawing process notes and mass property calculations.


  • Material & Process Requirements and Qualification
  • Corrosion Protection and Prevention
  • Flight Quality Hardware
  • Specification Origination, Modification and Validation
  • Hazardous Materials Planning
  • High Temperature Environments

Engineering Analysis

Engineering Analysis Design validation is a crucial part of the development process. Our integrated suite of software allows our team to design and analyze parts and assemblies on a common platform providing a streamlined approach to developing safe life designs. PDE has developed an efficient standard process for analyzing and defining the design conditions of structures, mechanisms and propulsion components blending classical empirical calculations, standard automated analyses and finite element analyses.


Structural Sciences

  • Static Strength including Composite Laminates & Metals
  • Mechanical Failure Analyses including Fatigue, Fracture, Buckling
  • Thermal & Fluid Flow Analyses
  • Mechanical Vibration & Noise Control
  • Finite Element Modeling including initial sizing , non-linear & contact analyses
  • Durability and Damage Tolerance Analysis
  • Post Buckled Composites


As part of our validation process we track each components Mass Properties to optimize design functionality and ensure target weight, CG and moments of inertia are met. Mass property calculations are derived directly from our CAD model output and are used during component sizing.

Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturing Engineering The success of any design ultimately lies in the quality and functionality of the end product. Our standard design process here at PDE employs a concurrent engineering methodology utilizing task teaming with manufacturing to develop detail design & tool design in parallel. We have the ability to provide a broad range of manufacturing engineering support including:


  • Tool Design- Production, Modular, Limited Production/Short-Run, One-Off
  • Kitting Configuration & Procurement Planning
  • Automated Manufacturing & Methods Planning
  • Reverse Engineering
  • Flat Pattern Development
  • GD&T Interpretation and Inspection Support

Test & Evaluation Engineering

Test and Evaluation EngineeringPart of the development process entails verifying designs meet technical requirements and provide for safe life, quality products. We have experience in providing comprehensive testing requirements as well as structural evaluations and analyses.


  • Design & Compliance Testing
  • Production Qualification Testing Requirements & Planning
  • Acceptance Test Procedures
  • In-Service Testing, Failure Analyses & Reporting
  • Non-Destructive Testing

Information Technologies

Information Technologies

PDE utilizes an Engineering Standard Work concept in order to control the cost, schedule and quality of our work. Our standard work includes a state of the art suite of software tools, proven processes and procedures and an extensive library of specifications and design standards.



  • CATIA V5 Design & FEA
  • Enovia SmarTeam
  • NEI Nastran/Femap
  • NEI Motion
  • Rhinoceros V4
  • Orca 3D
  • Microsoft Project
  • PDE-SAATs (Standard Automated Analysis Tools)


PDE maintains a secure IT infrastructure built with redundant servers and high end graphics workstations. We have assembled a mature database of technical references, proprietary specifications and standards, and lessons learned from legacy programs ensuring our staff has the resources to achieve our customers’ goals and expectations.


PersonnelPadden Design Engineering’s team is comprised primarily of former Northrop Grumman personnel bringing over forty years of cumulative experience ranging from the US Space Programs, Military Aircraft and Commercial Aviation programs. Our team has the necessary skills to see a component design from concept through to completion with the efficient decision making, responsiveness, and accessibility that comes from a small core group.


  • Experienced multi-disciplined staff
  • Trained in classic design/analysis methodology
  • Creative problem solving
  • Continuing education training programs

Processes and Procedures

Processes & ProceduresAt Padden Design Engineering, proven methods and experienced planning serve as the basis for all of the work we do. We have developed Standard Operating Processes and Procedures that govern our work and provide standardized guidelines for our personnel to follow. Our design philosophy consists of an emphasis on a balance of theoretical and practical experience and capability. Our staff has been trained to explore design optimization through various standard methods to reduce risk, cycle times, and part complexity. The Padden Design Engineering team has extensive experience working with and leading Integrated Product Teams (IPTs).


Concurrent Engineering

  • Design/Build Teaming with manufacturers (integrated product and tool design)
  • IPT Risk management and problem solving
  • Optimization of Program Schedule


Design Optimization

  • Use of Digital Mockups & Digital Pre-Assembly
  • Design for Manufacturability and Assembly (DFMA)
  • Trade Studies to Reduce Risk and Cycle Times and Improve Part Complexity Optimization


Streamlined Validation

  • Empirical Analysis and Standard Methods from Engineering Manuals
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Standard Automated Analysis Tools (SAATs)


AS9100/ISO 9001 Compliant Quality Management System

  • Company Standard Operating Procedures and Policies
  • Quality Assurance: Engineering Standard Work, Checklists, Closed Loop Processes
  • Continuous Improvement

Patented Technology


For decades, Vincent T. Padden, co-founder of Padden Design Engineering, has been advancing the state of the art in aerostructures and systems resulting in multiple US and European patent awards. These inventions have been utilized in the development of commercial aircraft programs resulting in significant weight and cost savings. Today, Vincent and the Padden Design Engineering team continues to create innovative designs including the breakthrough load transfer technology utilized in our Composite-Metal Hybrid components.



Blending the benefits of hi-strength-to-weight carbon fibers with the robust bearing strength of titanium into one synergistic product results in ultra lightweight structural components for hi-performance vehicle applications. This technology is based around the principles of introducing and distributing applied loads into composite structural components efficiently. These hybrid parts are bonded structures capable of equivalent loading to their metal counterparts both in static strength and fatigue resistance including superior corrosion resistance. This breakthrough technology has opened the door for expanded applications for replacing metal structural and system components.



patent-sketch-8544361Composite Link Fitting

US Patent No. 8,544,361

This invention presents a composite link fitting which overcomes the inherent disadvantages of metallic link fittings such as higher weight and corrosion resistance. Control rod fittings, also known as “link fittings,” are extensively used in aerospace structures to transfer heavy and/or concentrated loads between two separate structures or portions of a structure. The composite link fitting uses a metallic bearing support bonded to a graphite core and outer band to efficiently transfer tension and compression loads into the composite link structure.

patent-sketch-5500272High Efficiency Load Transfer in Composite Structures (Graphite-Titanium Interleaf)

US Patent No. 5,500,272

This invention pertains to the attachment of fittings to composite panels for aerospace structures. The graphite-titanium interleaf is intended to reduce the number of plies which must be present in the vicinity of an installed metal fitting yet provide sufficient bearing area for a fastener attaching the fitting to the inner and outer laminates of a bonded panel. This is achieved by interleafing thin titanium sheets between graphite/epoxy plies. Reducing ply build-ups in panels minimize weight and complexity of manufacture.

patent-sketch-5224670Composite Focused Load Control Surface

US Patent No. 5,224,670

This invention relates to the manufacture of composite load bearing structures and, in particular, to the manufacture of an aircraft wing spoiler of honeycomb sandwich construction. The composite focused load control surface provides a co-cured one piece assembly in which the attachment fitting of the assembly’s control surface is caused to converge at the focus of the applied loads on the attachment fitting. This eliminates the need for direct shear attachment of the hinge/actuator drive fitting to the control surface because the shear load is carried as a component of the axial load at the fitting attachment surface.

patent-sketch-5390878Strain Isolator Assembly

US Patent No. 5,390,878

This invention pertains to a strain isolator assembly and, more particularly, to an isolator assembly for minimizing mechanical, thermal, and vibrationary strains between two interconnected structures. The strain isolator assembly allows deflections between joined structures due to heat and vibration overcoming the fatigue problem of rigidly connecting the structures in this type of environment. The strain isolator assembly has particular application in supporting a hot air blower tube within the cowling of a jet engine unit and the attaching of thermal protection panels on space vehicles.

Padden Design Engineering continues to develop state of the art technologies and grow it’s Intellectual Property Portfolio.

Innovative Products

m-innovative-productsPadden Design Engineering develops breakthrough components for high performance applications. Our patented technology allows the products we design to achieve a lighter weight and improved durability over traditional metal and composite components. The unique manufacturing process of our advanced Composite-Metal Hybrid (CMH) parts allows us to build them on a large scale versus one part at a time, having significant cost savings and shorter cycle and lead times. PDE partners with AS9100 certified manufacturers here in the USA providing our customers with high quality components.

Key Benefits

  • Blending of Metals & Composites
  • High Modulus/Light Weight
  • Improved Performance/Optimum Attachment
  • Cost Effective/Ease of Manufacture



Our patented parts can be tailored to fit customer requirements and comply with FAA regulations. These CMH components can be made as aftermarket replacements or be incorporated in the development of new products. Contact us to find out more about the benefits of these innovative products.



Light Aircraft MLG

Light Aircraft MLG

Forward Engine Mount/TurboFan Engine

Forward Engine Mount/TurboFan Engine

Advanced Concepts

advanced-concepts-000bPadden Design Engineering continually funds Internal Research & Development (IR&D) programs to further the state of the art in structural, mechanical, and propulsion components for high performance land, air, sea, and space vehicles. Building on our successful prior technologies, we continue to solve engineering problems with creative design solutions.



Composite-Metal Hybrid (CMH) components, offering significant weight savings, competitive cost, and increased durability:

turbofan-bladeTurbo Fan Blade

The CMH turbo fan blade concept solves the problem of leading and trailing edge erosion and hub wear on composite fan blade applications. This design configuration uses advanced pre-preg carbon fiber skins, syntactic foam core and titanium edges and hub. By using composites in the acreage of the blade and metals in the hub and edge areas, the end product achieves a significant weight savings without sacrificing performance and durability. The orientation of the carbon fiber skins can be tailored to achieve the optimum aerodynamic shape of the airfoil at various RPMs. This design is patent pending.

LG-ShockStrutLanding Gear Shock Strut

The CMH landing gear shock strut concept is a breakthrough in the application of our technology on aircraft landing gear components. Landing gears on large commercial airliners can weigh several thousands of pounds and with the application of the composite-metal hybrid technology on the major structural parts of the gear significant weight savings can be achieved. The concept utilizes a carbon fiber/metal bonded assembly in its design configuration allowing for all metal lug attachments to the shock strut where highly concentrated loads exist and a metal cylinder wall. This design is patent pending.

Wing-SpoilerWing Spoilers

This design concept is an improvement on the Focused Load Spoiler patent. This technology was developed by Vincent T. Padden while at Northrop Grumman and later improved to incorporate Padden Design Engineering’s state of the art load transfer technology. The design configuration incorporates an improved method of attaching fittings to the composite structure which gains significant weight savings by eliminating buildup plies of graphite in the areas of the attachment fittings and removal of the forward stiffener which typically takes shear loads. Shear loads are taken via a focused load center attachment fitting. This design is patent pending.

Eng-Con-RodAutomotive Engine Connecting Rod

High sports cars and race cars are constantly improving their performance by reducing weight with composite parts. This design concepts provides a high performance light weight connecting rod design which allows racing engines to lower the rotating components inertia and increase RPM and speed of the vehicle. The configuration utilizes carbon fiber and titanium and is a further application of our proven rod, strut and link technology for aircraft landing gears and engine mounts. This design is patent pending.

RudderRudder for Large Yachts and Ships

Traditional rudders on large yachts and ships are made from marine grade metals by either a frame and skin weldment or solid cast construction. The composite-metal hybrid rudder design concept offers significant weight savings over traditional metal designs and allows for the foil shape to be a wake adapted design to reduce drag and mitigate erosion from propeller cavitation. Unique design features include the ability to tailor the mass of the structure with the composite configuration to add buoyancy for ease of removal and repair without drydocking the vessel. The lightweight design reduces loads on the steering gear and allows for replacement with lighter weight components in the steering system. This weight reduction also allows for the carrying of a spare onboard in case of damage. The design configuration utilizes a composite blade with metallic edges and removable rudder stock/shaft. This design is patent pending.

Newly developed technologies at Padden Design Engineering are assessed through technology readiness levels (TRLs) as defined by the DoD. Each new concept is matured through our standard development process consisting of 3D modeling and digital mockup assembly, finite element analysis (FEA), prototypes and full scale mockups, proof of concepts, and test articles.