20 December 2014

A350 manufacturing process by Minute Physics. Video

Minute Physics has issued a video to explain “how airplanes are made” and the A350 manufacturing process has been taken as the reference. Behind-the-Scenes of an Airbus A350 being built! is the title.

Click the picture to watch the video

This educational video especially created by Henry Reich has images from Airbus-sites in France, Germany and UK and it brings the opportunity to have a global view on the A350 XWB development in 5 minutes.

Click the picture to watch the video

19 December 2014

Formal welcome to first Qatar A350 on 7/Jan in Doha

Qatar Airways has set a new date of 7/January for ceremonies at its home hub in Doha.

Source: Airbus

Qatar, the launch customer for the A350 widebody, was originally scheduled to receive the first aircraft at Airbus’ delivery center in Toulouse 13/Dec, then hold formal ceremonies at Hamad International Airport on 15/Dec.

However, the airline suddenly announced last week that the delivery and ceremonies would be delayed.

Qatar then rescheduled the handover in Toulouse to 22/Dec but the ceremonies in Doha will not take place until 7/Jan, presumably to allow for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Source: Airbus

Many VIPs and journalists typically attend new aircraft first-delivery ceremonies, but if the Doha event was rescheduled for during the holidays, there would likely have been minimal attendance.

Based on the article “Qatar sets Jan. 7 date for A350 ceremonies in Doha” published in ATW

18 December 2014

3 aircraft/month production rate at A350 FAL.

Finnair’s first A350 (MSN18) has entered the final assembly line at Toulouse, as Airbus maintains pressure on its ramp-up phase for the type.

This aircraft is set to be the first of 19 that Finnair is ordering. Final assembly is already underway for additional A350s bound for Qatar Airways (MSN6 to MSN13) as well as Vietnam Airlines(MSN14 to MSN17).

A350 program manager Didier Evrard stated during an investor forum in London that 12 customer aircraft are in progress at Toulouse, and that the production rate has reached 3 aircraft per month.

Vertical fins up to MSN25 have been manufactured at the facility in Stade while the plant in Getafe has built tail-cone sections up to MSN35 and horizontal stabilizers up to MSN23.

“By having the certification done quickly, we now have a very stable definition that we can safely base our industrial ramp-up on,” says Evrard. This ramp-up will start next year.

All pictures: Source Airbus
Based on the article “Twelve customer A350s in final assembly” published in Flight Global.

17 December 2014

First A350 Rudder assembled in China.

Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Center (HMC), a joint venture between Airbus and its Chinese partners, began delivering locally assembled rudders for the Airbus A350 XWB this week.

The rudders manufactured at HMC will be delivered to Airbus Stade-site in Germany, where they will be fixed to the A350 vertical stabilizer, and then delivered to the Final Assembly Line inToulouse (France).

Source: Manuel Belleli

Rudders are one of the major components that HMC manufactures for the Airbus A350 XWB program. Airbus and Chinese authorities signed an agreement in 2007 for 5% of the A350 XWB airframe to be manufactured in China.

Manufacturing Center at Harbin (China)

"This is an important milestone for the Manufacturing Center and for our long-term partnership with the Chinese aviation industry as well. HMC will play an important role in contributing to the ramp-up and the success of the program," said Rafael Gonzalez-Ripoll, Airbus China COO.

HMC was put into production in 2009. It mainly produces components for Airbus A320 series and A350 XWB.

Based on the article “Airbus Chinese venture delivers A350 XWB rudders” published in Xinhua

16 December 2014

Qatar´s A350 will demo sound emissions at Heathrow in January.

Qatar Airways maintains the target of 15/January to start the commercial flights between Doha and Frankfurt.

Source: Airbus

During the month since the take over (planned for 22/Dec) the MSN6 will be used to train Qatar-pilots, engineers, Hamad International Airport staff.

Source: Airbus

And the aircraft will also be flown to London’s Heathrow airport for a week of trials to measure the sound emission “to prove to the world, especially to the British community, how quiet this plane is,” Qatar Airways CEO Al Baker said.

Source: Airbus

These kind of tests will be regularly done in all Head of Version aircraft for each new Customer, as noise levels are needed because each airline has it's own unique layout giving each head of version a different acoustical performance. 

Based on the article “No delay in first A350 commercial flight, says QA” published in The Peninsula

15 December 2014

“Full support from Airbus” needed to ensure A350 EIS.

When last week, with only 4 days to go before the planned Toulouse handover, Qatar revealed that plans to take the aircraft were "postponed until further notice", no specific reason was informed.

Qatar Airways added in that communication: "With the imminent launch of the new Airbus A350 program, both entities are committed to introducing the A350 very soon."

It was a huge surprise the announcement and also the way to do it; via facebook.

A350 Head of Program Didier Evrard stressed at Airbus’ global investor forum that to ensure entry into service in one month “full support from Airbus” is needed. And this could be the key.

Qatar plans to fly the A350 on the Doha-Frankfurt route from 15/January/15 and has been selling tickets for the service. Many engineers from Airbus will enjoy their first Christmas “holidays” working at the new Hamad International Airport in Doha-Qatar.

Taking into consideration that the airport was open only 7 months ago, that Qatar will receive the first 8 A350s, that Qatar´s A380s are operated from the same airport and the nightmare with the 787 Entry Into Service in the past, Airbus resident team in Doha (quantity, duration, skills, functions, spares) could be one of the reason behind the delay of 10 days in the delivery ceremony for Qatar Airways.   

Source all pictures: here A380_TLS_A350

Based on the article “Airbus Still Plans To Deliver First A350 To Qatar Airways In 2014” published in Aviation Week.

14 December 2014

Stelia Aerospace, new name for A350 structure risk sharing partner.

"By creating STELIA AEROSPACE, AEROLIA and SOGERMA are proud to unite their ambitions at the service of their historical customers as well as new ones, the trust of which they will endeavor to gain. With STELIA, its teams and businesses, a new page of aeronautics is opening today", say Cédric Gautier and Jean-Michel Léonard, respectively AEROLIA and SOGERMA CEOs.

A new name for a new company: STELIA AEROSPACE. A midnight blue universe and a logo featuring the infinite symbol, STELIA calls sobriety, dynamism and openness to mind.
A name referring to its roots, starting in S and ending in A, evoking the stars, the shining and distinguishing immaterial reference.

Source: Manuel Belleli

STELIA will be a landmark for its customers. “Because we have our feet firmly on the ground as an industrial company, and our eyes in the stars, STELIA strongly relies on its roots and its ambitions.”

Recognized through its complementary businesses and bearing this development ambition common to both major aeronautical companies, the merger of AEROLIA and SOGERMA will give rise, on 1/January, to the world No. 3 (as regards its turnover) in aerostructures, seats and aeronautical equipment, with 6,100 staff members and 11 sites.

Based on the press release “Aerolia & Sogerma merge into Stelia Aerospace”