Airbus is ramping-up production capacity for its A321XLR aircraft with a new automated equipping hangar.
The facility, opened on Wednesday by Hamburg’s Mayor Peter Tschentscher and German Aerospace Coordinator Anna Christmann.
Airbus is prioritising modernisation and digitalisation of its industrial system as well as expanding its capacity for the rate ramp-up in the A320 programme to 75 in 2026.
Production of the A321XLR
“Airbus’ Hamburg site plays a significant role in the development and production of the A321XLR. With our new, state-of-the-art equipment installation hangar, we are now expanding our capacity to manufacture A321 fuselages and making an important contribution to supporting our ramp up. At the same time we are reaffirming the importance of Hamburg for Airbus,” said André Walter, head of Airbus commercial aircraft production in Germany.
“The design of the building reflects the latest standards in production and sustainability.”
Tschentscher said: “Hamburg is the central location for Airbus’ single-aisle development and production. With the A321XLR, the new flagship of the A320 Family will be assembled at the Finkenwerder site, setting new standards in terms of sustainability, efficiency and range.
“The start of production in the new equipment installation hangar is an important project for Hamburg as the world’s third largest civil aviation centre.”
At the new equipment installation hangar, all the components of the rear fuselages of the A321XLR aircraft – also built in Hamburg – will be installed and mounted.
Assembly line in Hamburg
The almost 24-metre-long fuselage sections are equipped with all electrical and mechanical systems, as well as other elements such as windows, floor panels or external antennas, on an automated ‘pulse line’ consisting of eight stations.
Each fuselage section is extensively tested directly after the installation of the systems. The fuselage sections are then transferred to the final assembly line in Hamburg.
The stations in the new hangar were planned in close consultation with the employees to create both an efficient production flow and an ergonomically optimised and modern working environment. In addition, the interior design also focused on ensuring optimal conditions for cooperation between the employees in production and the supporting functions.
The structure was planned and built sustainably. A 3,000 m2 photovoltaic system on the roof supplies the hangar with electricity, and surpluses are used to power the site.
The office block on the south side offers improved insulation thanks to extensive insulation of the ceiling and walls, and there is a fully automatic control system for heating, ventilation and lighting.
Image caption: Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, André Walter, Head of Airbus Commercial Aircraft Production in Germany, Anna Christmann, Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy and Gary O’Donnell, Head of A321XLR Development, open the new A321XLR Equipment Installation Hangar in Hamburg, designed and constructed in line with latest production and sustainability standards.
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