Boeing [NYSE: BA] has selected GKN plc to manufacture the Advanced Technology Winglet for the 737 MAX. Production of the winglets will take place at the GKN site at Cowes on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom with final assembly at GKN's facility in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Already a market success, the 737 MAX has more than 1,600 orders from airlines around the world.
“We announced our first winglet contracts for Boeing aircraft in 2007 and this award reflects the on-going success of our growing relationship,” said Marcus Bryson, CEO, GKN Aerospace and Land Systems. “It also draws on our expertise in the efficient manufacture of complex composite and metallic wing structures and makes full use of our ability to assemble this advanced structure. We are extremely proud to be part of the team that is producing this unique winglet - and to be involved with Boeing in creating this extremely efficient next-generation airframe."
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 firm configuration achieved in July 2013. First flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. GKN will deliver the first developmental winglet ship sets to Boeing in 2015.
UK Business Minister Michael Fallon said "This significant deal creates and secures hundreds of high skilled, long term engineering jobs on the Isle of Wight and across GKN's domestic supply chain. It also further strengthens the ties between Boeing and the UK, showing that this country can continue to be the supplier of choice to the world's leading aircraft manufacturers. That's why the Government is working in partnership with industry to deliver jobs and growth through our industrial strategy."
Boeing’s Advanced Technology Winglet is one of a number of design updates that will result in less drag and further optimize the 737 MAX performance, especially on longer-range missions. In total these updates will deliver an 8 percent per-seat operating cost advantage over future competition.1
“Boeing is pleased that this agreement will build on our existing strong relationship with GKN,” said Sir Roger Bone, President of Boeing in the UK. “As Boeing celebrates 75 years of partnership with the UK in 2013, this agreement helps to ensure that our strong relationship with the UK aerospace industry continues for many years to come.”
Two suppliers are manufacturing winglets for the 737 MAX programme, GKN and Korean Air Aerospace Division (KAL-ASD) in South Korea.
Source: GKN Aerospace
Date: Dec 4, 2013