Korean Air's aerospace division (KAL-ASD) has delivered its 1,000th sharklet to Airbus.
In a delivery ceremony at its Busan manufacturing plant, the company says production of the first sharklet started in April 2012, and it has since been producing four sharklets a day on average. This comes up to a monthly production of about 45 shipsets a month.
The plan, it adds, is to manufacture enough sharklets for the Airbus A320 family of aircraft to hit a $400 million sales target by 2017.
The manufacturer has the capability to produce up to 70 shipsets monthly from its 1,280m² plant, allowing it to ramp up production as necessary.
KAL-ASD was selected by Airbus as the sole supplier of the sharklets in May 2010. It then carried out the design, development, manufacturing, testing and certification of the sharklet.
KAL-ASD says it established an 'auto moving line' in April 2013 to aid with sharklet production. Such a line is rare in aerostructures manufacture, where "small production systems" are more commonly used, it adds.
The Korean manufacturer is a major supplier to both Airbus and Boeing. Besides the sharklets, its other work for Airbus includes building the A320 elevator and A350 cargo door. Its workshare on Boeing aircraft includes manufacturing of six structures on the 787, as well as the 737 Max winglet.