GKN has asked us to clarify that it is no longer proposing the adoption of Cytec 977-2 resin material for use in the Airbus A350's composite wing spar. Airbus has selected Hexcel's M21E, but GKN chief technologist Phil Grainger said recently that the UK supplier had "proposed a return" to 977-2 due to concerns over the processing of M21E during manufacture (Flight International, 28 October-3 November).
GKN senior vice-president business development and strategy Frank Bamford says the company proposed using 977-2 for the A350 "almost two years ago". However, "since specification of M21E as the chosen material for the A350 by Airbus, over a year ago, GKN has worked closely with Airbus and Hexcel in the development, application and use of M21E.
"We have made a significant capital and technology investment in the use of M21E...it would absolutely not be in GKN's interest to be urging a change that would have a significant cost and programme impact on GKN," says Bamford. "In any case we agree with Airbus that M21E is the best resin for the A350."