NBAA Convention News

GKN plans strong push into bizav engine market

 - September 21, 2007, 6:12 AM

The UK’s GKN Aerospace (Booth No. 4918), a supplier of aerostructures, propulsion systems and transparencies, is setting its sights on the business aviation market, announcing that it intends to make its presence in the business aviation engines sector a core focus over the next five years.

“With a predicted 20-year market growth forecast of more than 140 percent across business aviation, representing over 50,000 engines, this is clearly a key market for us, and we have extended and strengthened our aero-engine operation to meet the needs of the business jet market in the coming years,” said Marcus Bryson, chief executive of GKN Aerospace.

GKN’s aero-engine operations account for about 25 percent of its $1.5 billion turnover, the company said, due in part to the recent acquisition of Teleflex Aerospace Manufacturing Group (TAMG), a manufacturer of engine components. The acquisition increased GKN’s exposure to the civil aerospace sector, which made up 70 percent of TAMG’s revenue.

In addition to supplying cases for the Pratt &Whitney Canada 600 series, including the PW610, PW615 and PW617 that power the Eclipse, Mustang and Phenom 100 VLJs, GKN also supplies blisks for the Honeywell CFE738 on the Dassault Falcon 2000.

“Forecasts indicate that the largest area of growth in business aviation is expected to be in the medium-to-large business category,” said Mike Beck, president and CEO of GKN Aerospace-Engine Products Division. “This segment of the market will require new 7,000- to 12,000-pound-thrust engines and it is important to GKN Aerospace’s engine products division, as the new engines will require blisks in the fan/compressor as opposed to bladed disks.”

Blisks reduce the overall parts count and manufacturing lead time, the company said, and are also lighter and more efficient than conventional bladed disks. The company intends to expand its blisk business over the next three years.

GKN also intends to increase its presence in the engine module sector and the integrated propulsion systems business. “GKN Aerospace is discussing integrated module manufacture with a number of aero-engine manufacturers, including those in the business aviation sector,” Beck said. “This is a major partnership role, suitable for companies such as GKN Aerospace which has extensive technical expertise, an extremely strong financial base and a successful track record in supply chain management.” He added that GKN has designed and certified the integrated propulsion power system for the Honeywell HTF7000 engine which powers the Challenger 300.

Other successes in the business aviation sector, according to the company, have included the receipt of a contract to supply the complete fuselage structural subassembly for the HondaJet and the delivery of advanced monolithic empennage spars for the Cessna Citation Mustang.

“We have seen significant success across our operation in recent years and expect our current order backlog to take our sales from $1.5 billion to $2.2 billion by 2012,” said Frank Bamford, senior v-p of business development and strategy. “We are proud of our involvement in design and development activities and aim to see our involvement in this sector continue to grow significantly.”