Airbus’ first A350 XWB delivery incorporates the largest contribution from GE Aviation through its Hamble facility: the 3,000-element wing fixed trailing edge package, which is the biggest design and manufacturing contract awarded to this GE Aviation aerostructures specialist since it first started operations in 1936.
The initial A350 XWB handover occurred today, with Airbus providing an A350-900 variant of the new-generation jetliner to launch customer Qatar Airways during a ceremony at the aircraft manufacturer’s Toulouse, France headquarters.
GE Aviation’s Hamble facility has responsibility for designing and building the A350 XWB’s wing fixed trailing edge packages – composed of complex machined parts, structural composite panels and assemblies. To meet the stringent cost and delivery targets, advanced manufacturing methods were developed and applied by GE Aviation’s aerostructures specialist, including out-of-autoclave and automated manufacturing processes.
To date, 18 shipsets of the wing fixed trailing edge packages have been delivered for the A350-900 jetliner version, with production currently ramping up to support the Airbus build rate schedule. Additionally, manufacturing was initiated earlier this year on the wing fixed trailing edge packages to equip Airbus’ stretched-fuselage A350-1000 variant. The stretched version requires a higher performance wing, which has necessitated technical changes for the GE Aviation supplied components.
GE Aviation is expanding its capacity and continuously investing in process optimization to support Airbus with the A350 XWB’s production rate. This includes an all-new 9,000-square-meter composites production center at the GE Aviation Hamble-le-Rice facility in the UK, which is part of a $50 million-plus site investment to support future manufacturing and new technology developments. Inauguration of the facility remains on schedule for the third quarter of 2015.
Source / Author: GE Aviation