8-May-2011 Source: GKN Aerospace
GKN Aerospace has received the 2011 American Helicopter Society (AHS) Supplier Excellence Award for its exceptional work on the Sikorsky CH-53K heavy lift helicopter program. The Company has delivered the first two aft transition fuselage sections for the CH-53K helicopter under the weight specified, on schedule, with â€œbest in classâ€ quality. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
The CH-53K helicopter aft transition unit is a complex fuselage section that measures approximately 20 feet long by 9 feet wide and 9 feet high. It contains more than 1,000 parts and features an advanced hybrid composite aluminium and titanium structure covered with external composite skins.Â Composite materials account for approximately 50 percent of the structureâ€™s weight.
In 2007 GKN Aerospace was awarded the contract to provide the aft transition fuselage section, including the cargo ramp and overhead door structural assemblies, as part of the multi-year System Development & Demonstration (SDD) contract awarded to Sikorsky Aircraft. This contract accorded full design authority and manufacturing responsibility for this fuselage section to GKN Aerospace with seven development ship sets scheduled to be delivered to Sikorsky by 2012.
To meet demanding CH-53K helicopter programme weight, durability and affordability objectives, GKN Aerospace introduced the latest design and manufacturing technologies including automated composite fibre placement (AFP), automated trim and drill and digital inspection technology into the production process.
John Johnson, Sikorskyâ€™s Programme Manager for the CH-53K helicopter program noted, â€œGKN Aerospace has achieved outstanding performance in meeting their commitment to our delivery schedule. As we move forward into assembly operations of the CH-53K helicopter, we are confident we can continue to count on GKN Aerospaceâ€™s excellence in providing quality engineering, operations, and business solutions with every delivery.â€
Kevin Cummings, CEO – GKN Aerospace, Aerostructures – North America said, â€œWe are proud to be acknowledged for our contribution as part of the CH-53K helicopter team.Â The programme has entailed design and manufacture of a major structural element of the airframe, requiring the application of state-of-the-art processes, technologies and materials. This prestigious award recognizes the dedication of the entire GKN Aerospace and Sikorsky teams and the successful collaboration efforts required to develop and manufacture this complex and innovative structure.â€
Design, development and production work has been carried out at GKN Aerospaceâ€™s St Louis, Missouri facility and at the companyâ€™s Engineering Design Centre in Nashville, Tennessee. First production aircraft delivery is scheduled for FY17.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.