03 August 2015

With Fokker buy, GKN positions itself on A350 XWB.

With a recent spate of acquisitions, British aerostructures firm GKN Aerospace is positioning itself as one of the key suppliers for the industry giants.

Source: ATO.ru

The purchase in June of California-based Sheets Manufacturing Co. (SMC) allowed GKN to secure major contracts from Boeing for the 737 MAX and 777Xprograms.
And now the addition of Dutch aerostructures company Fokker Technologies opens the door to additional work on the Airbus A350 XWB and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Source: Manuel Belleli

The €706 million ($779 million) acquisition from Arle Capital Partners -signed 28/July- also includes Fokker’s 5.5% share in the NH Industries consortium with Airbus Helicopters and Agusta Westland to produce the NH90 military utility helicopter.
Today, Fokker employs 5.000 and as aircraft component manufacturer and MRO provider remains the Netherlands’ aerospace champion, despite its troubled past.

GKN believes the purchase will position it as the global number 2 in aerostructures, behind Spirit AeroSystems, and number 3 in electrical systems behind Safran (Labinal) and Latecoere (Latelec).
“Fokker ticks all the boxes on GKN’s strategy,” CEO Nigel Stein told investors in London “It is a great fit, with attractive financials, and is a quality company that will add to our capability. We want to run Fokker the GKN way.”

On the A350 XWB, Fokker adds the composite outboard flaps to GKN’s work on the wing spars, windows and trailing edge parts.

Based on the article “GKN Targets Work On A350, F-35 With Fokker Buy” published in Aviation Week

02 August 2015

A350 XWB full flight simulator achieved the highest certification

CAE has achieved the highest certification (Level D qualification) for its A350 XWB full-flight simulator located at the Airbus Training Center in Toulouse.

Source: Finnair

The FAA, the Directorate General for Civil Aviation in France and the European Aviation Safety Agency granted the Level D qualification to CAE’s A350 XWB full-flight simulator.

Source: Airbus

“Achieving Level D qualification for the first A350 XWB simulator marks an important milestone, which highlights 5 years of collaborative efforts with Airbus in the development of the full-flight simulator,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s group president of civil aviation training services.

Source: Finnair

The A350 XWB simulator, along with the Airbus Pilot Transition and a flight management system trainer, is based at the Airbus training center in Toulouse, France.
A350 also obtained Level 6 qualification from the FAA and Level 2 from the DGAC/EASA for pilot common type ratings qualifications.

Based on the press release “CAE A350 Full-Flight Simulator Nets FAA Level D Rating”

01 August 2015

Composite window frames on A350.

Mold manufacturer BBG (Mindelheim, Germany) has developed, built and delivered a complete production line for the series production of carbon fiber composite window frames for the Airbus A350 XWB.

Window frames where originally  metallic but weight reduction campaign changed them to composite.

The new line will go to ACE Advanced Composite Engineering (ACE), which will fabricate the carbon fiber composite structures for Airbus at its manufacturing site in Hagnau, Germany.

The order includes 2 BFT-C mold carrier systems that are designed a press with a clamping force of 100 metric tons. BBG says that the supply of 4 more BFT-C systems is also planned.

An automatic mounting system first secures the mold in the mold-turning station. The 2 parts of the mold are then moved apart by a short parallel lift and swung open 180°.

BBG says that the ergonomic design allows the operator to easily insert the prepared carbon fiber preforms into the mold.

The in-mold turning station has a fully insulated heat chamber with integrated heating plates.

The tool with the preforms is then loaded into the BFT-C mold carrier. A resin transfer molding (RTM) process is used to inject and then cure the resin matrix.

Source: Airbus

Finally, the mold is opened in the mold carrier and the component then goes to the demolding station.

These can be also be opened 180° so that the window frame can be easily removed.

Based on the article “Airbus A350 to use CFRP window fames” published in Composites World

31 July 2015

Rolls Royce to maintain A350 XWB engines for Vietnam Airlines

Rolls-Royce has signed a £340 million deal to look after the engines on a fleet of aircraft flown by Vietnam Airlines.

The deal, known as a TotalCare long-term engine support contract, will see Rolls-Royce maintain the Trent XWB engines, which power the airline's fleet of 14 A350 aircraft.

The contract was signed at the Government Office in Hanoi in the presence of Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who is visiting the country as part of a trade mission to South East Asia.

Source: Airbus

Mr Cameron said: "Rolls-Royce is the pinnacle of UK manufacturing excellence, exporting to fast-growing markets across Asia.

"I'm delighted that they are announcing this £340 million contract with Vietnam Airlines supporting UK manufacturing in Derby, Rolls-Royce's manufacturing hub for Trent XWB engines."

Dr Pham Ngoc Minh, Vietnam Airlines' president and chief executive, said: "As one of the first operators of the A350 XWB, we look forward to providing our passengers with outstanding service using state-of-the-art engines.
"This agreement will ensure we maximise the availability of these aircraft for service and enable us to become one of the leading airlines in South East Asia."

Tony Wood, Rolls-Royce's president of aerospace, said: "The Trent XWB is the latest example of our ability to take the best in technology to deliver new standards of excellence. We look forward to supporting Vietnam Airlines for many years to come."

Based on the article “Derby's Rolls-Royce signs £340m engine support deal with Vietnam Airlines” published in DerbyTelegraph

30 July 2015

Singapore Airlines cuts from 70 to 63 its order of A350 XWB

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has cut its order of A350s from 70 to 63 after a request by Airbus.

Source: Jujug Spotting

An Airbus spokesman said that the 7 aircraft that have been released will be delivered to another airline (not named) as “that such agreements are occasionally struck with customers.”
Source: Clement Ader

SIA, which expects to receive its first A350-900 wide-body aircraft early next year, said the change "will not materially" affect its fleet renewal or growth plans.

Source: Jérémy Le roch

The airline provided the update during its second-quarter results presentation.

Based on the article “SIA cuts A350 orders from 70 to 63 at Airbus' request” published in The Straits Times

29 July 2015

Orbital will also manufacture composite stringers and frames on A350-1000.

Orbital ATK has signed an agreement with Airbus to expand its current contract to include the manufacture of composite stringers and frames on the A350-1000.

Source: FranceBleu

Under the terms of the contract, the aerospace structures division of Orbital’s flight systems group will produce the parts at its facility in Clearfield, Utah.

Source: Airbus

It expands on the firm’s existing agreement with Airbus to make composite stringers and frames for the A350-900, which Eaton said it has delivered more than 44.000 parts for since the beginning of the program.

Based on the article “Orbital expands A350 composites agreement” published in MRO Network

28 July 2015

Gardner Aerospace UK supplier continues growing with A350 pylon plug.

Gardner Aerospace Derby aerospace components firm has secured a £35 million loan to support its expansion plans.

The cash has been secured from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

It will use the investment to fund growth across its manufacturing sites in Basildon, Broughton, Hull, Pershore and its headquarters in Derby.

A decade ago, Gardner was a UK firm employing 1,200 people in 11 obsolescing factories and with annual revenues of £40 million ($62.4 million). Today it is an international concern, employing 200 more and delivering revenues 3 times greater.

By acquiring and then investing in small companies in France, Poland and Toulouse, Gardner was able to survive and grow as the big OEMs turned to subcontractors in low-cost economies.

The company provides the pylon plug for the Airbus A350 XWB.

Source: Aviation Week

This is made from machined parts originating in Hull, England; and some from Bangalore, India; and is assembled at Mazères, conveniently close to the Airbus plant at Toulouse. International, indeed.

Paul Noel, director of asset-based lending at RBS, said: "Gardner has grown significantly over the last 5 years and has successfully secured a number of new long-term contracts for key aircraft components.

"The newly agreed facilities will further support continued growth."

Based on the article “Derby firm secures £35m loan” published in Derby  Telegraph