23 July 2013

A350 XWB maximun production rate of 13 aircraft / month.

Airbus plans to produce the A350 at a rate of at least 13 per month. “This confirms a long-reported rumor we’ve heard but which Airbus would never acknowledge.” wrote Leeham News. The confirmation came from presenter ElectroImpact, which is headquartered in Everett and has a major facility in Broughton, Wales, where it makes wings for the A380 and A350. The A350 facility was built with a capacity for 13 A350s per month.

Airbus has only acknowledged its production plans call for 10 per month within four years of entry-into-service (2H2014). Consideration to creating a second A350-1000 production line is underway and has been publicly promoted by John Leahy, COO Customers. No timeline for the decision has been specifically set, though it may come by year end.

With current orders-ratio of the 3 members of the family (A350-800; 89 orders. A350-900; 444 orders and A350-1000; 145), the 13 aircraft maximun production rate per month splitted by models should be:
  • A350-800; 1 aircraft per month
  • A350-900; 9 aircraft  per month
  • A350-1000; 3 aircraft per month

Airbus parent EADS is pushing for more U.S. sourcing to take advantage of the fact that it sells aircraft in dollars, to diversify its own risk away from over-reliance on Europe, and to tilt the U.S. political calculus in its favor.

Currently Airbus buys directly from at least 25 aerospace suppliers in Washington, including big names like Exotic Metals, Fatigue Technology, Panasonic and Electroimpact, all of which have significant technological skills to offer Airbus. “Airbus isn’t just looking for inexpensive parts, but also for better ways of building aircraft. Our primary role is to find technologies and suppliers we feel can add value to the EADS supply chain,” said Keith Ellis, director of procurement quality and supplier development and the unique Airbus´s representative living in Washington. “We need to know you have the capacity to do the work, and define the risk levels,” he said in a meeting attended by 125 representatives of aerospace supply companies. “We’re very key on risk management. We're very interested in how you manage your supply chain.”

Based on the article “Airbus comes to Washington offering work to Boeing suppliers” published in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

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