Boeing teams with Safran on auxiliary power units

Auxiliary power unit
The tail section of a FedEx 777 Freighter ecoDemonstrator flight-test airplane has been opened to reveal its auxiliary power unit, which contains a 3-D-printed titanium part. (Boeing Photo / Paul McElroy)

Boeing and Safran have set up a joint venture to design, build and service auxiliary power units for airplanes, marking another big step in Boeing’s drive to build a more integrated supply chain.

“This strategic partnership will leverage Boeing’s deep customer and airplane knowledge along with Safran’s experience in designing and producing complex propulsion assemblies to deliver expanded, innovative services solutions to our customers,” Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, said today in a news release.

News about the 50-50 joint venture comes a little more than a month after Boeing announced a $4.25 billion deal to acquire KLX Inc., a Florida-based aerospace parts distributor.

Both moves are in line with Boeing’s strategy to grow aviation services into a business that contributes $50 billion annually to the company’s bottom line. They also show that Boeing is willing to move away from traditional supply-chain models.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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