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A380 recovery effort gathers momentum

Airbus rolled the first A380 for Singapore Airlines out of the Hamburg paintshop last week, and says it is making good progress with the implementation of its production delay recovery effort.

The new production methodology developed by Airbus to overcome last year's problems is being applied to A380s from MSN026 onwards, which is due to reach the power-on milestone in December, says Mario Heinen, executive vice-president A380. "This is the stage where all wiring installation, testing and validation has been completed," he says.

The new methodology is key to Airbus's efforts to achieve the industrial ramp-up from in 2009. "This will enable us to deliver a maximum of 45 aircraft in 2010," says Heinen.

© Airbus/C Brinkman    

On the move: SIA's first A380 has now received a lick of paint

In Toulouse, integrated Airbus teams are working to rewire A380s built before the launch of the recovery plan. Heinen says that power-on was achieved on the first of four Emirates A380s (MSN011) on the line in mid-April. "This was the first aircraft where we installed the complete, final wiring before it passed the Station 30 point where we carry out the comprehensive aircraft systems checks," says Heinen. "This means there is no more outstanding work passing this critical stage, as there was with the first four SIA aircraft."

Airbus's recovery effort has being greatly assisted by its decision to "interrupt" the A380 Freighter's development, says chief operating officer customers John Leahy: "We had 1,500 engineers working on the freighter, they're all now on the passenger aircraft."

Painting of the first SIA A380 (MSN003) was completed in Hamburg last week, while the next two aircraft are on schedule for the start of cabin furnishing.

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