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Aerospace Highlights

Marcus Bryson - Chief Executive Aerospace

GKN Aerospace is a leading supplier of airframe and engine structures, components, assemblies, transparencies and engineering services to aircraft and engine prime contractors.

It provides design and manufacturing capabilities in three main product areas: aerostructures (fuselage, wing and flight control surface assemblies and components), propulsion systems (engine and nacelle components and assemblies) and special products (transparencies and protection systems).

GKN Aerospace is a leader in the design and manufacture of advanced composites, transparencies and complex metal structures.

Sales* 22% of total Group sales

Trading profit* 48% of total Group trading profit

* on a management basis 

Filton A380 trailing edge assembly
Filton A380 trailing edge assembly

In January 2009 GKN completed the acquisition of the Airbus wing component and sub-assembly facility at Filton, a manufacturing and assembly specialist for wing components such as leading and trailing edges, ribs and pylons. GKN also secured life of programme contracts with Airbus across its complete product range and an order to design and produce large-scale composite structures for the wing of the new A350 XWB aircraft.

Technology and Innovation

GKN delivers the first state of the art Future Lynx airframe

Working in partnership with AgustaWestland, GKN implemented an effective design-to-cost methodology to create a highly effective and efficient operational airframe for Future Lynx helicopters, the first of which was delivered during the year.

GKN achieved the challenging technological goals for the airframe by adopting innovative techniques across the manufacturing process. Extensive use was made of monolithic machined components, replacing a traditional fabricated detail structure, to realise an 80% reduction in parts count when compared with the existing Super Lynx airframe. Three-dimensional design modelling ensured highly accurate part-to-part assembly, and state of the art assembly tooling, which rotates through 360 degrees and has vertical movement for ease of access, greatly enhanced the speed and efficiency of the assembly process.

GKN is responsible for supplying complete, assembled airframes for Future Lynx helicopters for the British Army and Royal Navy. Assembly of the airframe takes place at GKN’s Yeovil facility which, for the last seven years, has supplied all Lynx airframes, including those for a number of successful export programmes.

Future Lynx airframe