This GKN Aerospace contract covers the period to 2025. First winglet deliveries will take place in early 2011 to support the CSeries aircraft entry into service in 2013.

GKN Aerospace will supplying the winglet for the CSeries aircraft from its composites centre on the Isle of Wight, UK.

The contract was awarded by Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is responsible for the design and manufacture of the composite wings for the CSeries aircraft family.

GKN Aerospace, the aerospace operation of GKN plc (LSE: GKN) , says the the composite winglet will be a vital element in the CSeries aircraft achieving its goals for reduced fuel burn and lower emissions, with a greater range and better performance than any current aircraft in its class. Winglets reducing wing drag, resulting in fuel savings of at least 6%, with consequent reductions in aircraft emissions and improvements in payload and range.

"Bombardier is a long-established customer of GKN Aerospace," reports Phil Swash, CEO of Aerostructures-Europe, GKN Aerospace. "This latest contract sees us developing this partnership with a work package that will continue until the end of the first quarter of this century – and will build on our experience in the hugely promising area of winglet design and manufacture.”

Cytec Engineered Materials, Wrexham, UK, will be supplying some of the advanced composite material for the CSeries aircraft wing. This forms part of a wider contract awarded recently by Bombardier to Cytec Engineered Materials valued at up to US$800 million to supply carbon fibre composite materials for a number of Bombardier aircraft programmes. (See: Cytec to supply composites to Bombardier aircraft programmes.)

CSeries progress

The CSeries aircraft family is designed for the longer range, single-aisle, 100 to 149 seat market. It is scheduled to enter service in 2013 and is expected to deliver the lowest operating costs in its class, operational flexibility, widebody comfort and an unmatched environmental scorecard.

As part of the CSeries wing development programme, Bombardier in Belfast has manufactured and assembled a pre-production demonstrator wing using its resin transfer infusion process. This is currently being installed in a specially-designed test rig. Testing is scheduled to start within the next few weeks.

According to Michael Ryan, Vice President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast, the CSeries aircraft wing programme is progressing well and the company is on schedule to produce the first composite wing in 2011.

"The programme is building on our track record in Belfast of almost 40 years’ experience in composites technologies," he adds. "Not only will it further develop our capabilities and skills in one of the most advanced areas of aerospace technologies, but we believe it will also cement the UK’s wider strategic interests in aircraft wing development."

“As the largest ever single investment in Northern Ireland, the CSeries aircraft wing programme is also bringing significant benefits to the wider UK supply chain," he continues. "We look forward to more UK companies playing a role in this programme, as they do on other Bombardier programmes.”

A manufacturer of transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc (TMX: BBD) is headquartered in Canada.