I don't speak a word of German, so naturally today's Movie Monday would be entirely in German, right? While a language barrier may exists for non-German speaking readers, the visuals of this documentary on how Airbus builds an A320 family aircraft offer a universal translation.
The aircraft being assembled was the 901st A320 family aircraft, a 1998 A321 for Lufthansa, registered D-AIRY. This incredibly detailed documentary takes you through the process of building an A321, from sheet metal fuselage panel fabrication all the way through final assembly, testing and delivery to Lufthansa. The program should also provide a look at how Airbus's A320 workflow and supply chain is structured.
For those knowledgable observers, I'd be very curious to hear how the Airbus assembly process for the A320 family differs from the 737 fabrication and assembly. Is there a meaningful difference between how Boeing and Airbus approach narrowbody manufacturing? In 1998, the 737 line beginning a troubled ramp up, but the Renton line was itself operating as a slant system rather than the significantly higher efficiency moving line first instituted in 2002, which cut the aircraft's flow time in half from 22 to 11 days.
The eight-part documentary - which as I said is entirely in German - runs just under two hours. Parts two through eight after after the jump. Special thanks to commenter Michael who pointed this out. Enjoy!