GKN Aerospace has been awarded a contract to supply inlet lip skins for the Boeing 737 MAX and 777X and to assemble the 787 Dreamliner Section 47 floor grid
In conjunction with the Boeing award, GKN has acquired Sheets Manufacturing Inc. (SMI). SMI is a small privately held metallic spin forming company located in Camarillo, CA. It is a technology leader in the manufacture of aircraft engine inlet lip skins with legacy program positions on the Boeing 747-8 and KC-46 tanker.
GKN will engineer and manufacture the engine inlet aluminum lip skins for Boeing using proprietary spin forming and post spin processes developed by SMI and enhanced by GKN’s industry recognized automated lean industrialization techniques. The lip skins offer a weight reduction and generate a laminar flow surface that reduces drag and improves aerodynamic performance. The lip skins will be produced at the current Camarillo site and at a new purpose built lip skin manufacturing facility in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
GKN will assemble the Boeing 787 Section 47 floor grid at its assembly facility also located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The contract encompasses the floor grid for all three models of the 787 family: the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10. The floor assembly contains composite, titanium and other machined details including some mechanical systems. The large completed floor grid assemblies will be transported to Boeing South Carolina in North Charleston for installation in the fuselage barrel.
Kevin Cummings, Chief Executive Officer, GKN Aerospace said: “GKN is proud to have been selected to supply the 737 MAX and 777X inlet lip skins and 787 Section 47 floor grids. This contract award is a clear reflection of our strong commitment to the application of industry leading technologies in partnership with Boeing Commercial Airplanes.”
Boeing’s newest family of single-aisle aircraft, the 737 MAX, will build on the Next-Generation 737’s popularity and reliability while delivering to customers unsurpassed fuel efficiency in the single-aisle market. Development of the 737 MAX is on schedule with first flight scheduled in 2016 and deliveries to customers beginning in 2017.
GKN produces winglets, ice protection systems, windows and window frames, seat tracks, fin roots, engine pylon structures, and multiple other components and assemblies across the Boeing Commercial Airplanes product lines.