Australian aerostructures company Hawker de Havilland (HdH) has started manufacturing the aluminium alloy components for the Airbus A380 wingtips and wingtip fences. Parts production in Australia starts as the Boeing-owned unit discusses possible work on the Airbus Military A400M transport programme.

HdH in late 2001 won the contract to design and manufacture the wingtip and vortex control device for the A380, 12 of which have been ordered by Qantas.

Design of the parts will be finalised in the next month, with tooling production and manufacturing recently starting, says Brett Dyer, HdH Airbus programmes and business development manager. Assembly of the 2.4m (7.9ft)-high fences will begin in July, with first deliveries to the Airbus factory in Broughton, UK, in September.

HdH is the sole-source supplier of the parts, with the A380 contract following earlier contracts for wing-rib and landing gear fairing production for the A320 family and wingtip fences, composite main and centre undercarriage doors, and aluminium-alloy floor support structures for the A330/A340. The company recently delivered the 2,000th set of A320 family wing ribs and gear fairings, and this month will deliver the 500th set of A330/A340 winglets, undercarriage doors and floor structure. Airbus business accounts for 30-35% of its activities, says Dyer, adding that despite being owned by Boeing, it operates as a third-party supplier.

HdH is looking to increase the Airbus business and is in talks with the manufacturer about participation in the A400M programme as part of efforts to sell the European transport aircraft to Australia. HdH has discussed a range of work it could perform on the programme, including flight control surfaces, composite products, stringers and ribs, he says.

Source: Flight International