GE Aviation’s aerostructures division has started building a 97,000-sq-ft composites factory at Hamble in the UK. The work is part of a $50 million investment at the site to support its role in making wing components for the new Airbus A350 XWB airliner and is due to be completed in early 2015.
GE Aviation, best known for its civil and military jet engines and integrated aircraft systems, plans to establish itself as a Tier 1 aerostructures supplier by the second half of the next decade. Ultimately, the company has a long-term vision to develop integrated propulsion systems (IPS) for future single-aisle airliners and regional aircraft, bringing together GE Aviation’s aerostructures capabilities in advanced wing and flying-control surface design with its turboprop engine and propeller activities in other divisions.
Although it has long been a well known name in helicopter circles, Kaman Aerospace made its debut as an NBAA Convention exhibitor this year. A manufacturer with facilities throughout the U.S. as well as in Mexico, the UK, Germany and India, Kaman exhibited a carbon monolithic lightweight door structure, a winglet, an aileron for new business jets, and the company’s flight-control bearing products.
GKN Aerospace won a contract from Triumph Aerostructures’ Vought Aircraft division this week to design, build and supply composite winglets and ailerons for the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 ultra-long-range business jets. The ailerons will be developed and manufactured at GKN’s wing structures operation in Munich, Germany, while the winglets will be fabricated at its Isle of Wight facility in the UK. The company is already contracted to provide winglets for the Bombardier CSeries and supplies winglets for several other business aircraft.
GKN Aerospace has been selected to build the entire fuselage for the HondaJet, the UK-based aerostructures specialist said today at a press conference in London. It will build the all-composite fuselage in two sections before they are combined. Production fuselage sections are due to start being delivered in the second quarter of next year to Honda Aircraft for final assembly at its Greensboro, N.C. facility.
London Heliport Opens New Terminal
An evidentiary hearing was scheduled today to determine the winner of an auction held last Friday for the assets of bankrupt Epic Air and its sister companies. Bidders were China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGAC), Harlow Aerostructures and LT Builders Group. CAIGAC’s all-cash bid of $4.3 million was highest, followed by Harlow’s bid of $4 million.
Wayne, Pa.-based Triumph Group today announced a deal to acquire Vought Aircraft Industries from The Carlyle Group for cash and stock consideration of $1.44 billion, including the retirement of Vought debt. Following the closing, expected to occur in July, Carlyle will own some 31 percent of the outstanding stock of Triumph. The purchase consideration to Vought shareholders includes some 7.5 million shares and $525 million in cash.
J.R. “Rick” Hundley has been named president and CEO of San Antonio-based M7 Aerospace, succeeding Ron Frederick, who is retiring in December. Hundley previously was a senior executive at consulting firm Business Strategies International, aerospace manufacturing and service organization Safran USA, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.
French utility aircraft builder Reims Aviation went into bankruptcy protection on October 30. A company statement said the move was forced by a cash-flow crisis rather than a lack of orders.
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