GKN Aerospace in Wellington has been awarded new work from business jet maker Gulfstream.
The company said in a news release that it has signed a long-term contract to supply the upper and lower wing skins for Gulfstream’s large-cabin, long-range G500 and G600 business jets. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
GKN said the upper wing skins are constructed in a single piece, while the lower skins comprise several panels and a complex design feature.
“At the latest count we have produced over 5000 wing skins at our Wellington facility, including skins for Gulfstream’s award-winning G550 aircraft,” Daniele Cagnatel, CEO of GKN Aerospace-Aerostructures North America, said in the release. “This important new contract reinforces our relationship with Gulfstream and this is a relationship we aim to foster and grow for the long term.”
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Cagnatel added the contract is a key part of GKN’s efforts to increase its work on business jets.
GKN officials weren’t available for additional comment on Friday.
GKN, based in the United Kingdom, acquired the Wellington plant in 2006 as part of its acquisition of Stellex Aerostructures, which also had plants in California and New York. Stellex acquired what was Precision Machining in Wellington in 1999, which at that point had been manufacturing parts for Gulfstream jets since the mid-1990s.
The G500 and G600 are new airplanes for Gulfstream, which announced both projects in October 2014. Gulfstream expects first flight of the G500 in 2015 and deliveries to begin in 2018. The G600 flight test is expected to begin 12 to 18 months after the G500, and its entry into service is planned for 2019.
Qatar Airways and fractional ownership company Flexjet, which was founded by Learjet-parent Bombardier and sold in 2013, are the launch customers for the G500. A launch customer for the G600 has not been announced, a Gulfstream spokesman said Friday.