Spirit AeroSystems’ Wichita employees returned to work en masse today to restart production following successful efforts to restore power and clean debris left by a tornado that tore through the company’s 45-building campus on April 14. Spirit said it intends to work on “quickly ramping back up to full-rate production” now that its workers have returned.
Spirit Aerosystems will remain closed for at least two days after a tornado tore through its sprawling campus in Wichita on Saturday night, causing severe structural damage to at least “three or four” of the site’s 45 buildings.
Airbus has finished structural assembly of the aft fuselage destined for the first flying A350 XWB (MSN1) at its manufacturing site in Hamburg, Germany.
The first 21-meter-long front fuselage section for the Airbus A350 XWB has begun to take shape in Saint-Nazaire, France, where mechanics have begun joining the forward fuselage and nose sections, the European manufacturer announced today. The exercise will continue over the “coming weeks,” said Airbus.
Boeing expected the 787 Dreamliner to complete its type certification testing over the weekend, pending final analysis of function and reliability data collected during some 335 hours of flying with the seventh airplane to participate in the program, ZA102. All told, the program clocked more than 4,800 hours during some 1,700 flights since ZA001 took to the air for the first time on Dec. 15, 2009.
One of the big changes when Airbus unveiled its market-driven XWB revamp of the A350 back in May 2007 was the new structural concept: a fuselage constructed of 12 panels of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) mounted on frames of aluminum-lithium alloy.
Aluminum giant Alcoa (H5 F220) is here exhibiting a fuselage section manufactured with advanced aluminum-lithium alloy sheet that was stretch-formed on existing tooling by Spirit Aerosystems’ factory in Wichita, Kansas. U.S.-based Alcoa is targeting the next generation of single-aisle aircraft (with a clear focus on Boeing’s expected decision this year) as the potential first applications.
GKN Aerospace has been selected to build the entire fuselage for the HondaJet, the UK-based aerostructures specialist said today at a press conference in London. It will build the all-composite fuselage in two sections before they are combined. Production fuselage sections are due to start being delivered in the second quarter of next year to Honda Aircraft for final assembly at its Greensboro, N.C. facility.
Airbus has begun fabricating the first carbon fiber barrel for the A350 XWB fuselage at its Advanced Composites Center in Illescas, Spain, the company announced today. Airbus said it expects to finish the carbon fiber placement process used for producing the 18-foot-long fuselage barrel, known as section 19, “in the coming weeks.”
Airbus has is progressing with construction of its new 160,000-square-foot A350 XWB fuselage-assembly hangar at its German factory in Hamburg.