Wichita, KS, United States
Wichita, KS, United States

Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. , based in Wichita, Kansas, is the world's largest first-tier aerostructures manufacturer. The company builds several important pieces of Boeing aircraft, including the fuselage of the 737, portions of the 787 fuselage, and the cockpit of nearly all of its airliners. Spirit also produces fuselage sections and front wing spars for the Airbus A350. Spirit's main competition comes from Vought Aircraft Industries, UTC Aerospace Systems, Alenia, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.Spirit was formed when Boeing Commercial Airplanes sold its Wichita division to investment firm Onex. Boeing Defense, Space & Security retained its military business in Wichita, which lies on neighboring land. The Wichita division was responsible for construction of many important aircraft in Boeing's history, including the B-29 Superfortress, B-47 Stratojet, and B-52 Stratofortress. Spirit can trace its legacy back even further to Stearman Aircraft, which was founded on the same site; Stearman later became part of Boeing. Spirit also includes North American Aviation's former Tulsa and McAlester facilities On Aug 8, 2005, Spirit AeroSystems announced that Ulrich R. Schmidt had joined the company as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, reporting to Jeffrey Turner, President and CEO.On January 31, 2006, BAE Systems announced it had agreed to sell its aerostructures business, based at Glasgow Prestwick Airport and Samlesbury Aerodrome, to Spirit. The BAE unit, which was renamed Spirit AeroSystems Ltd., is a major supplier to Raytheon , Airbus , and Boeing . The transaction was completed on April 1, 2006. Spirit paid GBP 80 million for the business.In 2010, 96% of Spirit's revenue came from its two largest customers: 85% of sales were from Boeing, 11% from Airbus. In 2009 these two customers represented 96% of sales for Spirit as well.After planning to take Spirit public, at initial public offering on November 21, 2006, the firm's stock rose 10% on the first day. Onex still owns 58% of Spirit, which results in 92% of voting power, as its shares confer "supervoting" power. The chief architect of the Onex purchase of Spirit was Nigel S. Wright, who was later Chief of Staff for the Canadian Prime Minister until his resignation as part of an expense scandal.Former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt serves as a labor consultant for Spirit and sits on its board of directors. Wikipedia.

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Patent
Spirit Aerosystems | Date: 2017-01-11

A self-lubricated drill block comprises a housing, a reservoir, and a drill guide. The housing includes at least a top surface, a bottom surface, and a through hole extending from the top surface to the bottom surface. The reservoir is positioned within an interior of the housing and is configured to retain a lubricant. The drill guide is positioned within the through hole and is configured to receive a drill bit. The drill guide includes a cylindrical side wall which includes a lubricant opening through which the lubricant is received and supplied to the drill bit.


Patent
Spirit Aerosystems | Date: 2016-10-13

A sealant tube for use in a pneumatic sealant gun for reducing or eliminating air bubbles in the sealant being dispensed. The sealant tube may fit within a hollow sleeve of the pneumatic sealant gun and contains sealant and a slidable plunger. The tube body may include an inner surface, an outer surface opposite the inner surface, a first opening, a second opening opposite the first opening, and pressure release openings formed through the tube body, such that air from a pressurized air source flows into the tube body and between the tube body and the hollow sleeve during use of the pneumatic sealant gun, equalizing pressure on the inner surface and the outer surface of the tube body. A seal or gasket may also be located proximate the second opening of the tube body, for forming an airtight seal between the hollow sleeve and the tube body.


Patent
Spirit Aerosystems | Date: 2015-12-28

An apparatus and method configured for manufacturing an aircraft part from formable material. The apparatus may include one or more rigid forming components onto which the formable material is placed and between which non-flange portions of the formable material may be compressed, and at least one inflatable component that, when expanded by inflation, presses flange portions of the formable material against at least one of the rigid forming components. The inflation component(s) may be arranged in any configuration for forming the formable material into C-shaped channels, single L-shaped channels, or opposing Z-shaped channels. Once pressed between the rigid forming components and/or the inflated inflatable components, the formable material may be heated for forming according to the particular formable material used.


Patent
Spirit Aerosystems | Date: 2015-11-11

A joule-heating press and method for manufacturing a metallic honeycomb core via diffusion bonding. The method may include printing a pattern of strips of a stop-off material to surfaces of a plurality of sheets of metal at locations where diffusion bonding is not desired and stacking the sheets of metal together in a sequence for forming the honeycomb core. Then the method may include steps of pressing the sheets of metal together between two press plates made of conductive material and applying electric current to the conductive material of the press plates. This allows current to flow through a thickness of the sheets of metal and the sheets of metal are thereby diffusion bonded to each other via joule heating at locations absent the stop-off material. Finally, the method may include a step of expanding the sheets of metal into the honeycomb core.


A method for heat-treating a titanium alloy, such as Ti-6Al-4V. The method may occur after or include a step of forging the titanium alloy such that localized, highly deformed grains are formed in the titanium alloy. Then the method may include steps of recrystallization annealing the titanium alloy by heating the titanium alloy to a temperature in a range between 30 F. to 200 F. below beta transus of the titanium alloy for 1 hour to 6 hours and then furnace cooling of the titanium alloy to 1200 F. to 1500 F. at a rate of 50 F. to 500 F. per hour. Following the recrystallization annealing, the method may include beta annealing the titanium alloy. These steps may be performed in a single heat treating cycle.


Patent
Spirit Aerosystems | Date: 2015-10-06

An aircraft thrust reverser inner wall and method of manufacturing the same. The aircraft thrust reverser inner wall may include a face sheet, a perforated back sheet, and a core sandwiched between the face sheet and the perforated back sheet. The face sheet may have an inner face sheet surface and an outer face sheet surface, and the core may have an inner core surface, an outer core surface, and a plurality of cell walls extending therebetween. An electro-depositable material may be applied, via electrodeposition, in a substantially continuous layer over the outer core surface, the cell walls, and the outer face sheet surface, thus bonding the face sheet and core together. The perforated back sheet may be attached to the core at the outer core surface, and a conductive coating may be applied to the inner face sheet surface.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Business, Innovation & Skills Financed | Award Amount: 4.65M | Year: 2014

Airbus is running a strategic programme called ‘Wing of the Future’ as part of the UK Aerospace Technology Institute funding initiative. The overall aim is to secure a robust set of innovative technologies at the integrated wing-level and an industrial capability to deploy those concepts in order to ensure Airbus’ programme needs related to wing can be satisfied over the next twenty years. Wing Integrated Leading Edge and Trailing Edge (WILETE) is a key project within the Wing of the Future Programme and will focus on the development of leading and trailing edge structure component and assembly technologies to support high volume and low cost composite wing manufacture, assembly and equipping. In conjunction with other projects within the Wing of the Future collaborative framework, WILETE will be organised in three key phases, each of two years duration. WILETE includes a number of critical wing technology streams for Airbus including integration of LE and TE structures with the wing box structure, and integration of electrical systems including ice protection and flight controls. The project is supported by a selection of strategic and associate partners from respected research and industrial fields.


Patent
Spirit Aerosystems | Date: 2015-03-26

A system and method for heat shielding an inner wall of a fan duct of an aircraft nacelle from engine heat. The system may include a heat shield and an insulation blanket. The heat shield may have a first layer of high temperature composite material bonded to a first surface of an insulant material and a second layer of high temperature composite material bonded to a second surface of the insulant material. The first layer of high temperature composite material may also be bonded to the inner wall. The insulation blanket may be positioned between the heat shield and the engine, and may be fastened to the heat shield and/or the inner wall.


Patent
Spirit Aerosystems | Date: 2015-02-04

A system and method for heat-treating a titanium part. The system may include foil, adhesive tape, and a localized heat source. The foil may include two sheets of foil made of a material more reactive (more prone to oxidize) than the titanium part, and the localized heat source may include a heating element mostly surrounded by insulation. The method may include taping the foil to opposing sides of the titanium part, thus sealing a portion of the titanium part to be heat treated from external atmosphere. The method may also include heating and placing the localized heat source near or against the foil until heat treating is complete. A small amount of air remaining between the heated foil and the titanium part has a preferential reaction with the foil, since it is more reactive than the titanium part. This prevents oxidation of the titanium part during localized heat treating.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Business, Innovation & Skills Financed | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2015

A collaborative ATI project has been developed to address a number of challenges currently facing the aerospace industry. The collaboration is led by Spirit AeroSystems (Europe), the largest independent Tier 1 “design and build” supplier to the aerospace industry whose main UK facility is located next to Prestwick International Airport. The partners are Aeromet International and the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the former being a world leader in the production of Aluminium and Magnesium sand castings and Aluminium investment castings. The AMRC is a High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult focusing on developing manufacturing solutions for industry across a wide range of sectors. The overarching aim of the Programme is to help sustain UK aerospace jobs and ensure that the UK consolidates its position as the second largest global aerospace supplier currently with a market value and share of £24 billion and 17%, respectively. The scope of the technical work will align with both the Protect and Exploit element of the Governmental PEP model developed by the Aerospace Growth Partnership AGP as part of the industrial strategy and has the following key objectives: -manufacturing process improvement of legacy products to facilitate rate increase requirements for the industries OEMs; -creation of opportunities for on-shoring of aerospace component work packages to maintain the long-term security of the UK manufacturing base; the development, testing and validation of complex integrated manufacturing processes associated with composite aircraft wing technology. -The ATI initiative provides Spirit and Aeromet with the opportunity to benefit from financial support to develop their technologies for use on current on future commercial aircraft. AMRC will help the industrial partners de-risk the technical and financial barriers through the collaborative development of the new technologies.

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