Initial work on design and engineering under the joint venture is being done in San Diego

US-based Boeing and French multinational aircraft company Safran have confirmed the name of the 50-50 joint venture (JV) they had created last year for building auxiliary power units (APUs) for aircrafts. The JV would apparently be operating under the name Initium Aerospace.

Sources familiar with the matter informed that APUs for Boeing are presently being manufactured by Pratt & Whitney and Honeywell, though Paris-headquartered Safran is growing its profile in the market. The establishment of Initium also represents Boeing’s efforts to enhance its services business and also have a more vertically integrated supply chain.

The term Initium supposedly comes from the Latin word for start or beginning, which could be referring to the function of an APU and the thrust of the Boeing-Safran JV, sources mentioned. Formation of Initium Aerospace has followed the necessary antitrust and regulatory approvals received for the joint venture in last November.

For the uninitiated, APUs are onboard engines which are primarily utilized for starting an aircraft’s main engines. The are also used for powering aircraft systems on the ground when the main engines are not running, while during flight they can enhance onboard power if required.

CEO and President of Boeing Global Services, Stan Deal, stated that this is a notable milestone as the best of both companies would be brought together for designing and building advanced APUs to deliver more lifecycle value for their customers. This further proves that Boeing has pursued strategic investments which strengthen its vertical capabilities and expand its services portfolio continuously, he said.

Initium Aerospace’s initial team would comprise of employees from both the parent companies, with Etienne Boisseau being its CEO. Initial design as well as engineering work is taking place in San Diego.

Currently, Safran provides a broad range of components to Boeing. The two companies are also partners in MATIS, a JV in Morocco for producing wiring products used by various engine and airframe companies.