GKN Aerospace opens new composite and metallic repair facility

GKN Aerospace creates a new facility in Cowes, U.K., to focus on composite and metallic structure repair.

As a result of the substantial growth of the company’s composite aerostructures design and manufacturing business, and in order to meet future market demand, GKN Aerospace (East Cowes, Isle of Wight, U.K.) has created a dedicated facility focusing on composite and metallic structure repair and support. This new facility, at the company’s Cowes site, exploits the market-leading Cowes-based expertise in composite materials to grow the company’s global MRO operation providing repaired or replacement, metallic or composite airframe and aero-engine structures and transparencies.

Jeff Armitage, vice president and managing director, Nacelles at GKN Aerospace says, “As airline needs grow and change – as a result of growing air traffic and because of the increasing number of aircraft in service that contain high levels of composite structure – it is our aim to offer airlines a single reliable source for efficient repair or replacement of both composite and metallic structural components.”

Since commencing the MRO operation at the Cowes site in 2000 the activity has grown from zero to a turnover approaching $10 million, and from completing wing part repairs on GKN Aerospace Original Equipment to supporting a number of U.K.-based airlines with repairs to a broad range of composite parts not originally manufactured by the company. The range of items being repaired today includes all flying surfaces and structural components and engine fairings.

GKN Aerospace has global market leads in its aero-structures, aircraft propulsion and transparencies businesses and has an aftermarket operation supporting all these businesses that currently represents some 15 percent of sales. The company’s business plan aims to take this figure to nearer 40 percent of sales by 2012, largely through working in partnership with prime manufacturing customers to meet growing operator demand.

GKN Aerospace is the leading provider of passenger cabin windows for the Boeing and Airbus fleets, in both original equipment and aftermarket. The engine products business supplies items such as engine ducts and fan blades, and performs nacelle and fan blade repair.