Vital Parts

Ford Aerospace is approved by its customers, including Agusta Westland and Moog Aircraft Group, to manufacture ‘flight safety critical’ or vital parts – products which would cause a major incident if they were to fail in flight. The companies’ approval for such critical components demonstrate the highest levels of quality and control displayed within the organisation.

The additional requirements set out within this approval specification apply to all Vital, Critical, Category F and Flight Safety parts which are manufactured within Ford Aerospace. A vital part is any high integrity component or assembly whose failure could cause a catastrophe. The stringent process involved in producing a vital part means that there must be Frozen Operations – operations which cannot be resequenced on the component routing and must therefore be completed in the correct order. To ensure those involved in producing the vital part are aware of this, the works order is printed on yellow paper to ensure it is clearly distinguishable from a standard order. Any subcontracted operations must be completed as per the original agreement, with any changes to the manufacturing method or process being approved by the customer before starting the operation. This will require resubmission of the manufacturing method for verification/approval.

No personnel at Ford Aerospace are authorised to make hand amendments to the method and any changes which have been authorised by the customer will be detailed on the router and identified using operation code “55555”. An operation will not be started until it has been confirmed that all prior operations have been carried out and completed, that the recorded quantities for both accepted and rejected parts are correct and that the documentation is checked to ensure that it is all present and at the correct issue. This removes the possibility of an operation being missed.

First off inspections MUST be carried out by qualified inspection personnel, with in-process inspection carried out by Self-Certification. Final Inspection is to be carried out 100% dimensionally and visually, with no sampling permitted. This also includes a final check to ensure that all operations have been carried out in sequence.

Related Products

Trunnion Assembly Image

Trunnion Assembly

This is an example of a Trunnion Assembly as manufactured by Ford Aerospace. The product was machined, treated, painted and assembled to the customer specification through a combination of in house process and specific supply chain management.

Bracket Image


This Bracket is an example of a complex part which we produce in house within the CNC milling section. It is manufactured on a five-axis machine in order to cut the number of operations, allowing the manufacturing time to be reduced, which reduces the lead time for the customer.

Link Image


The Link is one of many vital parts we manufacture at Ford Aerospace. Being a vital part, the strict process from raw material purchase all the way to final dispatch is mutually agreed with the customer and followed exactly in accordance with their specifications. Ford’s capability is trusted by major OEMs to manufacture a range of flight-critical components.

Support Arm Image

Support Arm

This End Cap is produced in the CNC milling section and is manufactured in two operations. The milling of the outer profile and the inner features form one operation, followed by the backing off of the part to the correct thickness. This component also received treatments at a subcontractor, as per the customer’s requirements and is painted upon return.

Forkend Image


This part is particularly complex to make, as it must be milled so that the fork is complete and then transferred to a lathe to allow the remaining bar to be turned down to size. It is thread rolled in order to produce a high quality thread and is then sent out to subcontractors for treatment processes.


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