Senior representatives from Strata Manufacturing PJSC (Strata), an Al Ain, Abu Dhabi-based aerostructures facility, celebrated in late January the delivery of its first four fully assembled Airbus A330 ailerons, during a ceremony at the Airbus facility in Bremen, Germany.
This delivery marks a significant turning point in Strata’s relationship with Airbus SAS (Toulouse, France), reportedly elevating the company to status as a "tier-one" direct supplier to Airbus for A330 assembled ailerons. It is also an important step for Strata towards becoming a competitive and reliable supplier to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for primary structures of increasing complexity.
Designed to control roll and facilitate turning, the new critical wing structures will be mounted onto an A330 aircraft scheduled for delivery to Etihad Airways, in May.
Commenting on this historical milestone, Badr Al Olama, CEO of Strata, said, “Our commitment and our growing partnership with Airbus is an accomplishment for Strata and Abu Dhabi. Strata’s dedication to continuous improvement has been reaffirmed by our ability to manufacture complex and technologically advanced primary parts, and this further enhances our credibility in the industry, positioning us as a key contender on the next generation of aircraft. Our first package of Airbus ailerons being installed onto a new Etihad Airways aircraft makes this a particularly proud moment both for Strata and our nation, showcasing the U.A.E.’s growing role in the global aerospace industry.”
As Etihad Airways prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the installation of the ailerons marks another first for the airline, whereby one of its aircraft will now operate with primary components manufactured within the U.A.E.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways president and CEO, said, “Today is a tremendously proud occasion, and we are delighted to see key parts for our aircraft now being manufactured in the U.A.E. The U.A.E., and the emirate of Abu Dhabi in particular, are fast becoming an aviation manufacturing and maintenance center of excellence, and as the national carrier, in the years ahead, we look forward to further demonstrating and promoting U.A.E. technological and engineering achievements on our fleet and across our network.”
In 2010, just months after completion of its facility, Strata began supplying Airbus with aileron panels and flap-track fairings and has been steadily building its capabilities to deliver more technically complex packages to its partners.
Volker Thum, head of the Airbus plant in Bremen, said: “Aviation is a global business, and it brings together the very best each country has to offer. For the development and production of the world's leading aircraft, we require strong and capable partners, like Strata, who can deliver on this global scale. We anticipate that parts manufactured in the U.A.E. will be set features on Airbus aircraft. I am very proud to celebrate this occasion with our partners at Strata today."
All A330 aircraft require four ailerons; an inboard and outboard aileron mounted onto each wing. Each aileron measures 5m/16.4 ft in length, weighs approximately 85 kg/187.4 lb and is manufactured and assembled by specialized technicians using more than 400 parts.
Last year, Strata sent a group of 16 technicians to Nantes, France for a five-month intensive training program. a second group of technicians has recently returned from Nantes to implement the skills they acquired throughout their training. The aileron panels are already being manufactured at Strata by a skilled team of technicians, including Emirati women from Strata’s successful apprenticeship programs.
With this delivery, Strata is now a ‘tier-one’ supplier of the A330 assembled ailerons to Airbus, and in December 2012, Strata also delivered its first ATR Vertical Fin to the Italian aerospace company, Alenia Aermacchi (Rome, Italy). This progression puts Strata in a favorable position to achieve its ambition of designing and manufacturing entire wing and empennage structures in the future.
Strata Manufacturing PJSC (Strata) was established in 2009, and began production in 2010. Strata has partnerships with some of the world’s leading aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) .
Strata is currently a supplier for the Airbus A330/340 and A380 programs. Strata is working on supplying Airbus on the A350 XWB program, as well as The Boeing Co. (Chicago, Ill.) on the 777 and 787 programs. In addition, Strata supplies Alenia on the ATR Program. Strata is wholly owned by Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company, and is part of Mubadala Aerospace.