Airbus has awarded the contract for the design and manufacture of the lower composite centre fuselage frame of its new A350 XWB aircraft to U.S. company Spirit AeroSystems of Wichita, Kansas. The contract is one of many announced recently for the newest member of the Airbus fleet, and is further evidence of Airbus' commitment to growing its development and manufacturing activities around the world.
Airbus has restructured its industrial set-up to focus on core activities. As a result, the company is optimizing its global foundation by developing and consolidating its robust supply chain. For the A350, around 50 percent of the aero-structures work will be outsourced to risk-sharing partners. Airbus is awarding large work packages to tier-1 suppliers, such as Spirit, in return for a better distribution of future investment, risks and opportunities.
Spirit AeroSystems will produce the composite fuselage structure in a new facility to be built in North Carolina.
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) Family is Airbus' response to widespread market demand for a series of highly efficient medium-capacity long-range widebody aircraft. With a range of up to 8,300 nm/15,400 km, it is available in three basic passenger versions: the A350-800 accommodating 270 passengers, the A350-900 seating 314, and the A350-1000 for 350 passengers. The A350 has the widest fuselage in its category, offering unprecedented levels of comfort, the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile cost of any aircraft in this market segment. Powered by two new generation Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines delivering each up to 92,000 pounds of thrust, the A350 XWB Family is designed to confront the challenges of high fuel prices, rising passenger expectations, and environmental concerns.
Airbus is an EADS Company.