As an integrated European company, Airbus has been benefiting from Polish expertise in aircraft production for over 11 years and is constantly expanding its cooperation with the Polish aviation industry. In 2006 Airbus intensified its cooperation with its Polish partners in research and technology by signing an agreement with Technology Partners, a foundation representing major Polish research organisations. The turnover generated by Airbus and its shareholder EADS with the Polish aerospace industry has more than doubled since 2004 and will reach more than US$14 million by the end of 2008. Airbus will continue to lead as one of the most important investors and customers for the Polish aviation industry with an estimated US$143 million worth of investments and purchases in Poland between 2005 and 2015.
Airbus' industrial cooperation with Poland began with PZL Swidnik in May 1997. Since then PZL Swidnik has been supplying passenger-door locking mechanisms and belly fairing panels for the A320 Family. It has also provided bulk cargo-doors and composite fire protection for both A320 Family and Airbus long range aircraft.
The cooperation with Poland expanded with the involvement of the Polish aircraft manufacturer EADS PZL Okecie in 2004 when the company delivered the first floor grid section for the A320 Family. The floor grid is made from metal parts shipped from CASA in Spain and produced at EADS PZL Okecie's facilities in Warsaw. The A320 Family cargo door frame is also assembled by EADS PZL Okecie.
This partnership created employment for some 500 people in EADS PZL Okecie and associated industries in the Warsaw area.
The EADS PZL Okecie factory in Warszawa was chosen to participate in Airbus' production process for its aerospace expertise and skilled workforce. The EADS factory in Warsaw continues the tradition of the "Warszawa-Okecie" facility established in 1928 as the first Polish aircraft manufacturer.
In April 2003, the Gdansk-based Stocznia Remontowa S.A. was contracted by the French shipping company SOCATRA on behalf of Airbus to build an 8 million Euros floating transfer station to transport the A380 sections from the European production sites to the final assembly line in Toulouse. The transfer station, located at the Pauillac harbour near Bordeaux, is 150 metres long and 7.5 metres high with a total weight of 3,500 tonnes. Delivered in January 2004, the transport station is a key part of the overall A380 transport programme and is now fully operational.
Moreover, in 2005 Polish manufactures became further involved in the A380 programme with Goodrich-Krosno, Goodrich's Polish manufacturing division, launching the production of parts for the A380 landing gear shock absorber.
Research and technology
In November 2006, the strategic research framework agreement was signed between Airbus and Technology Partners. The five-year cooperation agreement will result in innovative aeronautic solutions using the latest technology. In April and May of 2007, three research contracts were signed with Technology Partners for an 18-month project which amounted to 650,000 Euros directly financed by Airbus. The projects will focus on environmentally friendly surface treatments, advanced ultra-fine grain metallic alloys and electrically conductive nano-composite materials. These research programmes represent key technologies needed for the aircraft of tomorrow.
In parallel, Airbus is encouraging Polish participation in the 7th Frame work Programme (FP7) which is a major European Union aeronautical research programme with a total budget of 2.5 billion Euros. The FP7 comprises three different level projects, including the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative, which is one of the largest ever European-funded research and technology programmes, with a total budget of 1.6 billion Euros over seven years. The purpose of Clean Sky is to demonstrate and validate new technologies in large scale and realistic flight demonstrations.
On 1 April 2008, the European Commission approved funding for the MAAXIMUS research project related to the development of advanced composite fuselage structure and led by Airbus. This project opens deeper cooperation between Technology Partners and the key players in European aeronautics.
Airbus and EADS are the largest investors and customers for the Polish aerospace industry with an estimated US$143 million worth of investment and purchase in Poland between 2005 and 2015. Together, they will continue to operate widely with Polish industry, currently actively involved in all Airbus programmes.