GKN Aerospace2008-05-21 10:33:56

Future Lynx Assembly Commences on Schedule.

On schedule this month, GKN Aerospace has commenced assembly of the AgustaWestland Future Lynx Airframe at the Company's Yeovil, UK facility.

Frank Bamford Vice President of Business Development and Strategy comments: "The focus of the Future Lynx design programme has been effective design-to-cost - with programme cost targets controlling and driving product design. Our goal has been to create a highly effective operational platform with an extremely efficient design and a truly cost effective manufacturing cycle."

Bamford continues: "Throughout the design phase, our dedicated team of engineers has been working within the AgustaWestland design office. We believe this fully integrated team approach has been critical to the success of this phase and to our meeting, and in some cases exceeding, the challenging goals for the new airframe."

As a result of the Design Philosophy's extensive use of Monolithic Machined components replacing a traditional fabricated detail structure and the effective application of 3 dimensional digital modelling to ensure highly accurate part-to-part assembly, the overall parts count on the Future Lynx airframe has been reduced by a massive 80%.

In addition, state-of-the-art assembly tooling, able to rotate through 360 degrees and with vertical movement for ease of access, will speed and smooth the assembly process significantly, whilst assembly personnel will follow digital assembly instructions developed by GKN Aerospace directly from CATIA v5. These instructions will be presented to each individual on a stand alone wireless IT workstation, eliminating the need for hard copy drawings and enabling future configuration changes to be communicated instantly to the relevant personnel.

The GBP50m Future Lynx contract was awarded to GKN Aerospace by AgustaWestland in June, 2006 and gives the Company responsibility for supplying the complete, assembled airframe for 70 Future Lynx helicopters for the Royal Navy and Army. GKN Aerospace is responsible for managing the supply chain and for airframe assembly - which will take place at its base in Yeovil. Assembly work has started on the Centre Module Lower 'Bathtub' structure which forms part of the lower centre fuselage section, to be followed shortly by assembly of the sponson structure.

GKN Aerospace has been supplying assemblies for the Lynx airframe for over 20 years, and was contracted to supply the complete, assembled airframe 7 years ago. The Company has supplied all Lynx airframes to AgustaWestland since that time including airframes for a number of successful export programmes.

For more information contact:
Ferry Rd
East Cowes
Isle of Wight
PO32 6RA
United Kingdom
Tel:     +44 (0)1983 283649






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