GKN Aerospace has been awarded a long term contract by Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company to supply the exhaust system for the United States Air Force KC-46A tanker. This system, comprising a complex acoustic nozzle and plug assembly, has provided excellent performance throughout a number of years in service on the 767 and versions of the 747. First deliveries for the KC-46A will take place in 2013 and continue through to the end of 2028 with manufacture and assembly taking place at the GKN Aerospace ASTECH facility in Santa Ana, CA, USA.
To produce this exhaust system, GKN Aerospace will use a proprietary resistance welded honeycomb panel process developed specifically to solve challenges in the exhaust environment. This technology overcomes the problem of voids common with brazed processes. It creates a lightweight stainless steel structure with exceptional strength and durability, extending engine performance and reducing noise.
Kevin Cummings, CEO - GKN Aerospace, North America comments: “This work package extends our established relationship with Boeing into the next generation USAF tanker programme. We work closely with Boeing providing structural airframe components and assemblies, winglets, transparencies and ice protection systems for aircraft across their product portfolio. Applying our market-leading resistance welding technologies on the 767 and KC-46 continues the expansion of our relationship and introduces innovative process technologies.”
GKN Aerospace is the world’s largest producer of systems and assemblies using resistance welded honeycomb technology and a market-leader in the supply of complex metal and composite structures for the aviation sector.