GKN Aerospace2007-09-20 09:34:46

GKN Aerospace gains business across its composites and metallics operations on major biz jet programmes.

See us at NBAA, Stand number 4918

Recent months have seen a number of key program wins for GKN Aerospace in aircraft structures in the business aviation sector. The award to the Company of the contract to supply the complete fuselage structural sub-assembly for the HondaJet advanced light jet has been a critical contract gain.

Frank Bamford, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategy comments: “This is a state-of-the-art design and manufacturing activity, and will be an opportunity to bring the benefits of our latest developments in composite manufacture to the business aviation field.”

The Company has also recently commenced delivery of advanced monolithic empennage spars for the Cessna Citation Mustang. Traditionally, empennage spars are complex assemblies made up of hundreds of sheet metal, small machined and extruded parts. GKN Aerospace’s new monolithic spars comprise only 9 parts, cutting assembly time, airframe complexity and weight, and reducing maintenance activities.

Bamford explains: “Monolithic structures, using state of the art materials such as titanium and carbon, are the way forward in aircraft construction in business aviation. GKN Aerospace is one operation that is leading the way in this field. Working closely with Cessna, we are advancing development work and exploring the potential applications and benefits these structures can offer on business aircraft.”

A third important development in 2007 has been the Company’s successful move into blended winglet manufacture with the award by Aviation Partners Boeing of a contract for the design, development and manufacture of the 767-300 ER blended winglet and for the manufacture of the 737-300/500 blended winglet.

Bamford continues: “This presents another extremely significant business development for GKN Aerospace. Blended winglets are offering impressive environmental and performance benefits to aircraft operators globally and this applies as much in business aviation as in any sector. These winglets are typically showing around 6% fuel savings, along with valuable payload and range performance improvements, all of which will reduce bizjet operator costs by a significant figure.”

In addition, the growing GKN Aerospace radome test range at Fort Worth, Texas, offers testing for every type of aircraft radome including those for business aircraft. The range is approved by the FAA and provides a comprehensive service including testing for radar transmission efficiency after manufacture or repair. At NBAA, a new cutaway radome model will show the tests undertaken at the range.

Bamford concludes: “We have seen significant success across our operation in recent years and expect our current order book alone to take our sales from $1.5bn to $2.2bn by 2012. We are proud of our involvement in design and development activities on some pioneering business aircraft programs and aim to see our involvement in this sector continue to grow significantly over the next 5 years.”

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