GKN To Diversify Airbus Wing Business

Jan 5, 2009
By Douglas Barrie/AviationWeek.com

GKN Aerospace wants to secure its first third-party order for the former Airbus wing-component facility at Filton in the U.K. within the next three to six months as the first step in an aggressive diversification plan for the site.

GKN Aerospace took formal ownership of the Airbus wing component business today, bringing to an end 18 months of negotiations.

Marcus Bryson, chief executive of GKN Aerospace, says the aim is to secure 40% of non-Airbus business within the next three years. At present, all of the wing and assemblies business is for Airbus products.

Bryson adds that the company is in discussions with several manufacturers, but declines to name any.

The purchase of part of the Airbus work at Filton, valued at 136 million pounds ($198 million) in September 2007, is a strategic acquisition for GKN Aerospace.

The company will develop composite wing structures for the Airbus A350 XWB, with the first elements due for delivery in the second quarter of 2010. GKN is also looking to use the A350 work to position for the next generation of single-aisle aircraft.

Photo: Airbus

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