Goodrich re-signs to build A350 nacelles and reversers

Airbus has completed renegotiations with at least one of the major A350 systems suppliers originally selected for the previous version of the aircraft, with the signing of a contract for Goodrich to provide the nacelle and thrust reverser systems for the XWB.

The US manufacturer was originally selected by Airbus to provide the nacelle and reversers for the General Electric GEnx engine on the previous A350 in February 2005 and has almost doubled the value of the new deal to $10 billion over the next 20 years as it sees the potential market for the all-new aircraft being substantially greater than it estimated for the previous A330-based version.

The new contract covers "all variants of the A350 XWB", says Goodrich, which for the moment at least is only offered with the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine - pending an agreement for GE to supply a powerplant.

Two other major system suppliers were selected for the original A350 - Honeywell to supply its HGT1500 auxiliary power unit and Messier-Dowty to build the main landing gear (MLG). Airbus says that "as the A350 XWB is a new aircraft, new contracts for systems selected for the previous version are being negotiated", but says it cannot comment on the status of these talks while they are under way.

Messier-Dowty says that while the selection of the XWB's MLG supplier has not been announced, "we are working closely with Airbus to optimise the design, as we did for the previous version".

Honeywell, which valued its original contract at $4 billion, confirms it is renegotiating its agreement with Airbus to supply the XWB's APU.

Goodrich says that the value of its new A350 deal has increased by $4 billion to $10 billion from the $6 billion forecast when the contract was first signed as the XWB is "a new design, and not a derivative so is a more competitive product for which there will be greater demand".

The new supply deal was not a "foregone conclusion" despite its earlier selection, and required some renegotiation, says Goodrich, adding that it traditionally funds the research and development effort for systems it supplies to Airbus, and that some of the "basic work" carried out on design of systems for the earlier A350 will be valid for the XWB.

Source: Flight International