26 January 2013

A350 XWB passenger cabin windows manufactured by GKN, as for other Airbus LR, Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier aircraft.

The GKN Aerospace’s CrystalVue II™ cabin windows are already installed in the MSN001 aircraft at the FAL Toulouse. It is not a risky or new window, as more than 2 million CrystalVue II™ windows are in service worldwide on aircraft operated by major and regional airlines and 800,000 more windows are manufactured each year. GKN Aerospace’s passenger windows have been standard fit on many Airbus aircraft and on all Boeing aircraft, for many years. The CrystalVue II is the cabin window selected for both Boeing 787 and A350 XWB.

CrystalVue II is a hard coated stretched acrylic passenger window pane which offers greater abrasion and chemical resistance than any other acrylic cabin window currently available, maintaining visibility through the window pane. In addition, the window's service life without interim maintenance actions is typically 3-4 times longer than other products on the market, substantially reducing maintenance activity and costs.

In 2005, GKN Aerospace was selected by Airbus, under a cooperation agreement, as the preferred vendor of passenger cabin windows for the A330 & A340.
As part of this agreement with Airbus, GKN Aerospace is providing 'Vendor Managed Inventory', ensuring Airbus has quick and immediate access to window supplies for each aircraft at all times. GKN Aerospace manages the inventory, restocking to agreed minimum/maximum levels to ensure parts are always available.
For example, GKN Aerospace has an agreement in place for distribution partner A J Walter Aviation Singapore (AJWS) to stock a full inventory of CrystalVue II passenger windows at their Changi facility. The target is to have an efficient and timely product distribution to airlines in the Asia Pacific region.

The passenger window is a complex item regarding materials, design and processes with different technologies, patents and requirements involved, like UV protection, stealth requirements, moisture barriers, abrasion resistance, electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding technologies, aero design, anti-fog requirements, hydrophobic, ice phobic, damage detection, acoustic, etc.

The main advantages are related to Improved light transmission and optical clarity as well as related to solar heat management (CrystalVue Solar Control) and to prevention of electromagnetic interference (passive coatings or micro screens).

GKN Aerospace has a more critical involvement in the A350 XWB program with the manufacturing of thrust struts, inner core fairings and blisks for R-R Trent XWB. In the structures work packages, GKN Aerospace invested over £170m to create a new facility in the UK where the rear wing spar is manufactured and the fixed trailing edge of the wing assembled. Additionally, the company also invested in its Munich facility where the inboard and outboard flaps (including skins, spars, ribs and leading edges) are manufactured.


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