Have you ever traveled on an Airbus or Boeing passenger plane in Europe? There is a good chance that parts of the engine are manufactured around the corner from where you live.
The plane, which takes you from A to B, therefore has parts produced in Kirkegårdsveien in Kongsberg. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? Perhaps you even know someone who has helped make these parts with us at GKN Aerospace Norway.
This is GKN Aerospace Norway
Our history starts in 1976. At that time, GKN Aerospace Norway was a subdivision of the Kongsberg arms factory (Kongsberg våpenfabrikk).
When Norway bought the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon for its air defense, we entered into an agreement to supply parts for the F-16 engine. In 1987 we were separated as our own company. Around the turn of the millennium, we were acquired by Volvo Aero, and in 2012 by GKN. Today we are known as GKN Aerospace Norway AS.
To this day, we continue to supply parts for the F-16 and have already for many years supplied parts for Norway’s new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter.
In the summer of 1974, 8% of the Norwegian population used commercial flights during their holidays. Today, the statistics are completely different. So are our statistics. The largest part of our business is the supply of engine parts for commercial aircraft. This applies to everything from small planes, called business jets – via the medium-sized planes that operate nationally and on the continent – to the largest planes where you may recognize the Jumbojet, Boeing 747, – for a long time the world’s largest passenger plane.
You might be wondering – exactly what parts do we produce for these aircraft?
- Shafts: These are shafts on the engine which are located in the center. Everything that moves is attached to this. Here, the production tolerances are very strict.
- Cases: A case looks like a cup without a bottom. The cases we produce sit in various parts of the engine, in both hot and cold parts. Based on its placement in the engine, different materials are used on the various parts.
- Vanes or Airfoils: These are grooves that are fixed in the engine. They guide liquids or gases as efficiently as possible through the engine. When put together and assembled, they form a kind of fan.
Further, faster and greener
Picture this. From Oslo Airport, it takes about 5 hours a trip to Naples. 2 hours to London. That is just enough time to take off, listen to a long podcast episode and land; watch a couple of movies; maybe get some work done. In other words – traveling today does not take that much time.
Traveling quickly and safely brings communities, families, and friends closer together. At GKN Aerospace Norway, we work with a passion and determination to make aircraft fly further, faster and greener. It is all about innovation and development.
Also read: Celena is Part of the Future
In order for us to achieve our goals, we actively focus on two things in particular – automation in production and 3D printing (additive manufacturing). The latter will actively contribute to lower emissions and towards our ambition to be a zero supplier by 2050.
How? With innovation and development, 3D printers can “print” aircraft engine parts. This makes production cheaper, and more sustainable. The product is printed according to drawings and specifications. This results in minimal wastage.
Our work and dedication to making aircraft fly further, faster and greener, is also about accuracy and requirements.
Who would have thought that a strand of hair was too thick when it comes to product specifications? A strand of hair, as thin as it may be, is between 15-70 μm. Our parts specifications? They are down to 7-8 μm. Here we are talking tiny margins. So small, in fact, that if the temperature changes by just 1 degree (celsius) when the parts are measured, they can expand, or shrink, exceeding tolerances!
The Future of GKN Aerospace Norway
GKN Aerospace Norway’s history is rich, but we always look forward. As a safe workplace, we have room for both personal and professional development. Our goal is to, once again, fill the factory – and always develop the technology.
Interested in joining our journey? See our vacancies here!