Manitoba Aerospace Week

May 2014

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2 Manitoba aerospace Week May 26 - 30, 2014 For the Free Press o ur aerospace heritage is a source of pride for Manitobans. From modest roots, the industry has grown over more than a century to become the third largest aerospace centre in Canada — which itself is fifth in the world. That makes us a big fish in a big pond, and our aerospace trailblazers continue to soar. "It's one of the key industries in Manitoba. It's over 5,000 jobs and over $1.5 billion annually — and 80% of that is exported," says Manitoba Aerospace Association executive director Ken Webb. Pioneering Spirit The seeds of the industry were planted in 1911, when Standard Machine Works opened as a small automotive repair shop. Today StandardAero is one of Manitoba's big-three aerospace companies with Boeing and Magellan Aerospace. "The MacDonald Bros. Sheet Metal and Roofing Company started as a construction company back in 1914, became MacDonald Bros. Aircraft in 1930, which turned into Bristol Aerospace, which turned into Magellan Aerospace. In 1962, the company took Manitoba into space with the development of rocket motors and the Black Brant rocket," Webb says. "Trans-Canada Air Lines brought commercial aviation to the province when it started up in 1936. That company moved its headquarters to Montreal and is now known as Air Canada." During the Second World War, air crews and pilots were trained at 14 Manitoba air bases under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which gave Manitoba the legacy of the Southport and Gimli air bases. And in 1971 Boeing opened a plant with 57 employees in Winnipeg. It now employs 1,600 people at two local sites and it's the largest composites manufacturing plant in Canada, producing parts and assemblies for Boeing aircraft including the 787 Dreamliner. The Legacy Continues In 2003, the non-profit Composites Innovation Centre was established to further develop the composites industry in Western Canada. Aerospace research and development projects include seeking ways to reduce fuel costs and emissions with lighter, more efficient aircraft. Manitoba is also a leader in engine testing. In 2010, Pratt & Whitney Canada and Rolls-Royce Canada partnered to establish the Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research (GLACIER) in Thompson, and in 2011, GE and StandardAero created a test centre in Winnipeg. "Between Pratt & Whitney, GE Aviation and Rolls-Royce, they provide 80% of the world's aircraft engines, and all those engines now have to come to Manitoba for testing," Webb says. A Skilled Workforce The industry is powered by people, and companies of all sizes are intensely committed to developing a skilled workforce that's engaged in the workplace and in the community. Boeing, Magellan Aerospace and StandardAero are all among Manitoba's Top 25 Employers, and they help smaller companies grow and develop to meet international qualifications through the Competitive Edge program. The industry- aerospace industry is still upWardly Mobile in Manitoba after more than a century, Manitoba's aerospace industry continues to reach new heights. Photo courtesy of Magellan Aerospace Ken Webb

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