GKN in Orangeburg to assemble 737 MAX winglets

737 Max Winglet Boeing Photo1
This artist’s rendering shows a 737 MAX 9 with winglets. Image from The Boeing Co.
Staff Report
Published Dec. 4, 2013

The Boeing Co. has selected GKN’s facility in Orangeburg for final assembly of its 737 MAX winglet.

Production of the winglets will take place at the GKN site at Cowes on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom, with final assembly in Orangeburg. Boeing has received more than 1,600 orders for the single-aisle 737 MAX from airlines around the world.

Boeing’s Current Market Outlook forecasts a market for 24,670 single-aisle airplanes, worth $2.29 trillion between 2013 and 2032.

“We announced our first winglet contracts for Boeing aircraft in 2007, and this award reflects the ongoing success of our growing relationship,” GKN Aerospace and Land Systems CEO Marcus Bryson said in a news release. “It also draws on our expertise in the efficient manufacture of complex composite and metallic wing structures...”

The first flight is scheduled in 2016, with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. GKN will deliver the first winglet sets to Boeing in 2015.

“Boeing is pleased that this agreement will build on our existing strong relationship with GKN,” UK Boeing President Sir Roger Bone said in a news release.

Two suppliers are manufacturing winglets for the 737 MAX program: GKN and Korean Air Aerospace Division in South Korea.

GKN PLC is a global engineering group. It has four divisions, GKN Driveline, GKN Powder Metallurgy, GKN Aerospace and GKN Land Systems, which operate in the automotive, aerospace and land systems markets. About 48,000 people work in GKN companies and joint ventures in more than 30 countries.

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