Airbus allocates some A350 composites production to China

CAC Commercial Aircraft Co. in China will manufacture the spoilers and droop panels from carbon fiber composites using resin transfer molding. Airbus had promised to source 5 percent of the A350 XWB airframe from China.

CAC Commercial Aircraft Co. (CCAC), one of the major aviation industry companies in China, on Sept. 15 signed a contract with Airbus for the work package of A350 XWB spoilers and droop panels. With this new contract, Airbus has now completed the allocation of the 5 percent A350 XWB airframe to be manufactured in China.

The contract was signed in Beijing by Klaus Richter, Airbus executive vice president Procurement, and Wang Guangya, president and chairman of CAC, the holding company of CCAC, and chairman of CCAC.

Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) is extensively used on A350 XWB spoiler and droop panels. Processes to be used include the resin transfer molding (RTM) on the Centre Hinge Fitting that attaches the spoiler to the wing structure.

Airbus (Beijing) Engineering Centre (ABEC), a joint venture of Airbus in China, will be involved in the design activities relating to this work package.
While CCAC will become the sole supplier of the A350 XWB spoilers and droop panels, FACC AG, an Austria-based company specializing in the development, design and manufacture of composite components and systems for civil aircraft, will be responsible, under a separate contract, for the definition of the industrial process. Airbus worldwide industrial standards will be applied for the assessment of the products and the training of employees. 

“We are proud to be involved in the latest Airbus aircraft program. With this contract, we have reached our objective to be part of a global aeronautical manufacturing chain. We have long been a supplier to Airbus and have been a partner in several cooperation projects with Airbus. We cherish this opportunity very much to cooperate with Airbus and with FACC,” said Guangya.

“With this work package, we have accomplished our commitment to manufacture 5 percent of the A350 XWB airframe in China,” said Richter. “Besides, this is also an important step forward for Airbus to develop a truly global industrial and engineering footprint, which helps Airbus to create a competitive cost base and access talented global resources,” he added.