TULSA, Okla. (OBV) – One of the world’s leading airplane parts manufacturers and a global engineering firm are working together from a new location in Tulsa to deliver advanced digital engineering services for major aerospace programs.
Spirit AeroSystems signed an agreement with Expleo earlier this month. Under the new agreement, Expleo will provide engineering services to Spirit, developing next-generation aerospace projects for the aerostructure manufacturer.
Expleo’s engineering operations for Spirit are located at a new space in Downtown Tulsa, complementing Expleo’s regional headquarters in Wichita, Kan. The Tulsa location will utilize digital capabilities, such as AI, digital twin and automation, for maximum cost efficiency and quickest time-to-market, according to Oklahoma Department of Commerce officials.
“We’re delighted to be growing our relationship with Spirit through this agreement. Ours is a long-standing strategic partnership built on trust, and we’re proud our collaboration has pushed boundaries and developed meaningful innovation in aerospace,” said Graham Younger, VP of Aerospace of Expleo. “This facility will improve the cross-pollination of ideas and allow Spirit to gain maximum benefit from Expleo’s experience in engineering combined with the latest digital technologies and processes to accelerate sustainable innovation, maximise productivity and get new aircraft on runways and in the air.”
Expleo and Spirit have been doing business together for years, including a three-year agreement in Spirit’s facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The Tulsa office will have 30 full-time employees and is expected to grow into the new year. It will be Expleo’s seventh office in the United States. The company’s website shows that it has 90 locations with over 17,500 employees, spread across more than 30 countries throughout the world. It has 350 employees in the U.S.
“Our expansion into Tulsa is part of an ambitious vision we have for the US aerospace and defence industries and will be a pivotal step in delivering the skills they need to meet growing demand,” said Will Hague, General Manager of Expleo USA. “By making this move, we will create new, highly skilled jobs in the region and develop expertise across competencies that are critical to engineering in a digital age.”
Spirit builds parts for commercial airplanes, defense platforms and business/regional jets. Their expertise is in aluminum and advanced composite manufacturing solutions. Core products include fuselages, integrated wings and wing components, pylons and nacelles. Also, Spirit serves the aftermarket for commercial and business/regional jets. The company’s headquarters are in Wichita, Kan.
“This [agreement with Expleo] complements the ongoing investment in talent we are making in our Wichita Center of Excellence, where we have hired over 200 graduate and mid-career engineers in the last year and continue to be laser-focused on engaging the future aerospace leaders of tomorrow,” said Dr. Sean Black, Spirit AeroSystems senior vice president, chief technology officer and chief engineer.
Younger said he is excited for the continuing partnership.
“Spirit is an important partner for Expleo globally, and we’re proud that we will be breaking new ground together in Tulsa, in addition to the Wichita market,” Younger said.