Airbus Industrie is to select the team which will supply engine nacelles for the A3XX programme by the end of the year. The business could be worth up to $4 billion to the winning supplier over the next 20 years.

Last year, Airbus Industrie put out a request for information for complete A3XX nacelle systems and it is understood that responses were received from the Airbus/ Hispano-Suiza Aerostructures joint venture Aircelle, a BFGoodrich/Hurel-Dubois partnership and Middle River, the thrust reverser division of General Electric. Earlier this year Airbus issued a request for proposals, and bids must be in by mid-September.

BFGoodrich and French thrust reverser specialist Hurel-Dubois have now officially teamed up to bid, along with Hurel's Italian partner Aermacchi. Aircelle is known to be in discussions with various potential partners regarding a joint bid, with possible candidates including CASA, Shorts and Middle River. Selection of the successful bid is expected by the end of this year.

Paris-based Hurel-Dubois has already pledged to take a 2% stake on the A3XX programme and is currently discussing aerostructure workshare packages with Airbus.

Hurel-Dubois says each A3XX nacelle will weigh 1,650kg (3,630lb). The nacelle agreement will see Hurel-Dubois taking responsibility for the design, integration and production of the cascade type thrust reverser. BFGoodrich will be the main nacelle contractor and Aermacchi will deal with front-end systems.

The A3XX is expected to only feature thrust reversers on its inboard engines, to save weight. This will affect the design of the nacelles as well as the financial aspects of production for the partner responsible for the reversers, which will only be required for half of each shipset.

Source: Flight International