GE-Aviation, SAFRAN form nacelle JV

The joint venture will focus on SAFRAN's Aircelle subsidiary and GE-Aviation's Middle River Aircraft Systems.

GE-Aviation (Cincinnati, Ohio) and SAFRAN (Paris, France) announced on July 15 at the Farnborough Air Show a new joint venture company to cooperatively develop, produce and support engine nacelles for next-generation single-aisle commercial airliners.

The agreement covers complete nacelles and nacelle subsystems – based on the expertise and resources of Aircelle, a SAFRAN company, and GE’s Middle River Aircraft Systems subsidiary. It will consider new business opportunities with all engine and aircraft manufacturers involved in the single-aisle airliner category.

The new company will have a joint management and operational structure, with 50 percent ownership held each by Middle River Aircraft Systems and Aircelle.
Formal creation of the new company will be completed later this year, after the details of its corporate identity, headquarters location and other details are finalized. The joint venture is to use the existing design, development and manufacturing capacities of Aircelle and Middle River Aircraft Systems – which are said to have complementary engine nacelle product lines and technical capabilities.

“The new joint venture will offer customers highly competitive solutions that benefit from the expertise of two industry leaders in integrated engine nacelles – Middle River Aircraft Systems and Aircelle,” said David Joyce, president and CEO of GE-Aviation. “This expands the successful three-decade GE/SAFRAN relationship into another key sector of aviation hardware.”

“Our new cooperative venture comes at a time when airlines are seeking more efficient, more environmentally-friendly solutions for their next generation of single-aisle airliners,” Jean-Paul Herteman, SAFRAN’s CEO, said. “The combined capabilities of Aircelle and Middle River Aircraft Systems will respond with engine nacelle products that improve aircraft performance, while also reducing weight and noise levels.”

Aircelle employs approximately 3,500 people at seven sites in France, the United Kingdom and Morocco. Middle River Aircraft Systems supplies jet engine thrust reversers and nacelle systems. The company also produces a variety of specialized structures for major aircraft manufacturers, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin, for commercial and military aircraft. Middle River employs a workforce of 1,000 employees at its Baltimore, Md., site.