GKN Aerospace (Lisle, Ill.) has delivered the first composite blended winglet for The Boeing Co.’s (Seattle, Wash.) 737-300/500, well ahead of scheduled delivery dates in the first quarter of this year. The agreement, with Aviation Partners Boeing (APB), was finalized in April 2007.
The multi-year winglet agreement with APB covers the supply of 200 737-300/500 blended winglet aircraft sets. Each winglet is 7 ft long. The agreement also covers the design, development and manufacture of 300 sets of 11-ft-long winglets for the Boeing 767-300ER. These winglets will be produced at GKN Aerospace facility on the Isle of Wight, U.K.
GKN Aerospace’s move into blended winglets is a key business development for the company. Winglets are transforming the performance of aircraft today. By significantly reducing drag, blended winglets cut aircraft fuel consumption by around 5 percent – improving performance and reducing environmental impact, both critical factors for the airline or aircraft operator. And blended winglets can be retrofitted to aircraft already flying, as well as fitted to new airframes.
Jeff Armitage, VP and director of nacelles, GKN Aerospace, states: “By 2010, just over two years from now, APB has predicted that blended winglets will have saved the world’s airlines over 2 billion gallons of fuel. For 737 300/500 operators, APB estimates savings of up to 100,000 gallons of fuel per aircraft per year. This is a key contract for GKN Aerospace here in Cowes and it is our aim to play a significant part in this hugely promising market in the coming years.”
Aviation Partners Boeing CEO, John Reimers comments: “GKN Aerospace is one of the world’s top producers of aerospace composite structures and this agreement will allow us to significantly increase blended winglet production on our 737-300/500 program. We look forward to working with GKN Aerospace as the world airline industry continues its transition to Blended Winglet Technology.”