Aircraft moved to final assembly line at Toulouse as other European sites get busy

Series production of the Airbus A380 is gathering pace throughout the Airbus plants across Europe, as structural assembly of the first aircraft to fly - MSN001 - is completed in Toulouse.

Following the joining of its major subassemblies, MSN001 was moved on 7 July to the second assembly station at the Jean-Luc Lagardère final assembly line for the next stage of construction. This aircraft is the first of four flight-test A380s that will undertake the 15-month, 2,000h certification-test programme due to start early next year.

Meanwhile, the five major sub-assemblies of the next flight-test A380 arrived in Toulouse on 1 July and are about to be joined together on the assembly line. In Airbus France's Saint Nazaire plant, structural build is in progress of subassemblies for A380s seven and eight, while production of components for aircraft 15 is under way at the nearby Nantes facility.

Work is under way on five sets of A380 wings at the Airbus UK wing manufacturing site in Broughton - three are in structural assembly and two are undergoing equipping (including the set for the third flight-test aircraft).

At the Hamburg Finkenwerder plant the forward and rear fuselage sections for the fourth A380 are nearing completion and work is under way on parts for a further three aircraft. These include the second ground-based test A380 airframe, which will be dedicated to fatigue tests in Dresden, Germany.

At the Stade facility near Hamburg, the fin for the third A380 is in the final stages of equipping, and work has begun on the fifth and sixth. Construction of tailplanes for six A380s is in progress at Airbus's plant in Puerto Real, Spain.



Source: Flight International