New aerostructures plant rises quickly in Germany

Premium AEROTEC GmbH began construction of its new 25,000-sq-m (269,100-sq-ft) manufacturing hangar on Aug. 6, where composite components of the new Airbus A350 XWB will be produced.

Premium AEROTEC GmbH (Augsburg, Germany) began construction of its new 25,000 ft² (269,100m²) manufacturing hangar on Aug. 6, where composite components of the new Airbus A350 XWB will be produced. Completion of the building shell is due by November, with production start planned for first quarter of 2010.

The new plant will produce large side shells for the complex fuselage (section 16/18), using what company officials describe as state-of-the-art composite technologies. The sections will feature carbon fiber reinforced skins that will be fiber-placed and autoclave-cured. Fiber placement systems have been ordered. The autoclave is currently being custom-built for Premium AEROTEC in South Korea and is expected to arrive at the construction site in early November.

Parallel to the construction of the hangar in Augsburg, the hangar for the production of the front fuselage (section 13/14) of the A350 XWB at Premium AEROTEC’s plant in Nordenham is nearly complete, and the site’s autoclave is expected to arrive in the next few weeks. Total investment at the Premium AEROTEC sites for A350 contracts will amount to approximately €360 million ($513 million USD) between 2009 and 2011.

Premium AEROTEC was formed in January by combining the former Airbus sites in Nordenham and Varel and the former EADS site in Augsburg. The combined company, which will be the largest aerostructures supplier for the new Airbus A350 XWB, is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS and manages its operations as an independently operated company headquartered in Augsburg.