Airbus prepares Bremen site for A350 wing work

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Airbus is investing €20 million ($28.9 million) in converting its A330/A340 wing systems installation facility in Bremen, Germany to accommodate the A350 production line in future.

Construction works have started and are to be finished by the end of the year.

The first A350 wing is scheduled to arrive from the airframer's site in Broughton, UK for installation of flaps, slats, spoilers, anti-ice equipment and associated systems in early 2012.

The Bremen site will be responsible for fitting out all A350 wings, starting with MSN001.

The facility hall has been set up for a maximum production rate of 10 A330/A340 and 10 A350 wing shipsets a month.

The current A330/A340 production rate of eight shipsets a month is to be increased to nine next year, and finally to 10 shipsets by the second quarter of 2013.

Other than improvements for leaner production, there will be no fundamental changes in the manufacturing method between the existing A330/A340 wing system installation and the new A350 production line, said Airbus.

At Broughton, Airbus is moving from a static A380 wing assembly line, where the wings are vertically built up, to a pulse line for the A350 programme, where the wings will move from station to station and be built up in a horizontal manner.