GKN Aerospace strengthens Chinese tie-in with new MoU

GKN Aerospace has boosted its operations in China with the signing of a revised Memorandum of Understanding with Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Company.

The Midland-based group has also signed further agreements with SAMC parent Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China covering manufacturing development and intellectual property rights for structures for the COMAC 919 next generation, twin turbofan, narrow body, 150-seat aircraft.

In collaboration with SAMC, GKN Aerospace is to manufacture and assemble the composite horizontal tail plane for the C919. The carbon fibre HTP is made using current advanced composite processes. It consists of two major torque-box assemblies joined together at a centre rib and includes the elevator assemblies.

Working with SAMC, GKN Aerospace will carry out the HTP development activities and, on completion of the work, will move into a manufacturing joint venture. This JV will be called Shanghai GKN-SAMC Aerospace Composite Structure Manufacturing Co Ltd.

Marcus Bryson, Chief Executive Officer – GKN Aerospace and Land Systems, said: “The on-going success of this collaboration with SAMC represents both an important expansion of GKN’s long established working relationship with China and a vital technological step forward in our work on the design and manufacture of advanced composite components and structures.”

GKN has had a 25 year-long presence in China. Today the company employs 5,000 people and manufactures in 12 locations across China.

COMAC functions as the main vehicle in implementing large passenger aircraft programmes in China. It is also mandated with the overall planning of trunk liner and regional jet projects and realising the industrialisation of civil aircraft in China.

It is engaged in the research, manufacture and flight tests of civil aircraft and related businesses such as marketing, servicing, leasing and operations of civil aircraft. The company has six member organisations including Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute (SADRI), SAMC, Shanghai Aircraft Customer Service Co and among these SAMC is the final aircraft assembly centre.

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