Airbus' composite manufacturing joint venture in Harbin, China, has started delivering elevators for the Airbus A350 widebody.
Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Centre (HMC) will deliver the composite elevators to Aernnova Aerospace. The Spanish-based manufacturer will, in turn, deliver the parts to Airbus' plant in Getafe, Spain, where they will be integrated into the A350 horizontal tailplane.
A ceremony was held at the Airbus facility in Harbin for the delivery of the first shipset of A350 elevators today.
Production started only last year after HMC won the contract to manufacture and assemble the complete set of carbonfibre elevators from Aernnova in 2010. The elevators were initially produced at Aernnova. After a transition period, during which the elevators are produced both in China and Spain, HMC will become the sole supplier.
"The delivery of the first shipset of A350 elevators by HMC is an important milestone in our long term partnership with the Chinese aviation industry. The A350 has taken to the sky and the programme is progressing on track," says Airbus China chief operating officer Rafael Gonzalez-Ripoll.
"The Chinese have every reason to be proud of the contribution they are making to the A350."
Airbus awarded a 5% share of the manufacturing workload on the A350 to Chinese companies, a significant part of which is carried out at HMC. Besides elevators, the Harbin facility also produced belly fairing parts, rudders and section 19 maintenance doors for the twinjet.
HMC, which was set up in 2009, is a joint venture between Airbus China and a group of Chinese companies including Harbin Aircraft Industry, Hafei Aviation Industry Company and AviChina Industry & Technology Company. The facility also produces parts for the A320 family.