UXBRIDGE, UK — FSL Aerospace signed an eight-year contract to supply components to Meggitt Sensing Systems (MSS) Basingstoke for the next generation of aircraft engines.

This builds on a relationship spanning more than 15 years between FSL and MSS, and will see FSL supplying fasteners and fixings for Meggitt’s sensors for the new LEAP engines—already being used by industry giants Boeing, Airbus and Comac.

Meggitt has been contracted to supply a range of the engine’s sensors which measure vibration, shaft speeds and a range of critical temperatures.

Steve Hannaway, supplier industrialization manager for MSS Basingstoke, said it needed a close working relationship with a supplier for such a major global project.

“Because we have worked together for several years we understand what is needed from each other," he said. "There is a real family feel to FSL and we’ve often come to rely on them for often complex components.

 “They source exactly what we need and their fasteners and fixtures are used all the way along the production line of our sensors and harnesses. We can trust them to deliver, which is vital when dealing with such an important contract.  We also know that FSL’s processes are reliable and everything is traceable, with very tight supply chain management.”

The LEAP is an entirely new baseline turbofan engine developed by CFM International to power single-aisle commercial jets.

They are lighter, more fuel efficient and aerodynamic than their predecessor the CFM56—the most successful commercial aircraft engine of all time.

And unlike traditional combustors that mix fuel and air inside the combustion chamber, the LEAP nozzle pre-mixes them to provide “lean burn combustion”.

Now in production the order books for the LEAP are growing with carriers all over the world placing orders, impressed by the claims of a 15 percent improvement in fuel consumption.

“We know how important it is to be as flexible and adaptable as possible, especially in the development of a new aircraft engine," Richard Woodward, FSL’s general manager, said. “It takes time to develop a new engine like LEAP because safety is always the highest priority. One of the nuts we supply MSS takes 16 weeks to make because it is modified, plated, tested and re-tested.

“Our rate of supply is driven by MSS Basingstoke production. It’s our job to make sure stock is available at all times to maintain their ramp-up in production but also we make sure they’re not overstocked. Meggitt staff know they can rely on us. We have worked with Meggitt for a long time and we have been able to learn how the company works as it has grown.

"The contract for Meggitt is for the life of the LEAP project and with the engines already having been selected for the Airbus A320neo, the Boeing 737 Max and the Comac C919 this stands to be around for many years to come.With FSL’s product knowledge, supply chain know-how and understanding of the aerospace industry we intend to be working with Meggitt long into the future.” 

CFM International is jointly owned by Safran Aircraft Engines of France and American GE Aviation.

The LEAP engines underwent rigorous testing with dozens of prototypes built using Meggitt’s high performing sensing technology and some were ultimately tested to destruction.

The technology will be used in the manufacturing and maintenance throughout the engine’s life—meaning trust, reliability, safety, transparency and traceability from suppliers like FSL is vital.

Meggitt’s global customer services team estimates the LEAP programme will generate gross sales—including original equipment, spares and repairs—of more than £160 million.

As an aerospace and defence industry supplier, quality is at the heart of FSL’s business and it has an impressive 99.3 percent right first-time accuracy rate and 98 percent rate for deliveries on time in full. 

FSL’s quality systems comply with both the specialised aerospace industry safety standard AS9120 and the more generic BS EN ISO 9001:2008. 

Even flood, fire and famine couldn’t throw a spanner into the smooth running of FSL’s supply chain management, thanks to its real-time data back-up at its remote hosting sites in Milton Keynes and Sheffield. 

Woodward added, “LEAP is a new type of aircraft engine and everyone at FSL is delighted to have been involved in such an exciting project from the very start.”

For more information, visit www.fslaerospace.co.uk.