Further progress with A350 XWB programme

Following the successful delivery of the forward fuselage section (section 13/14) last month, the side shells and the floor structures for the aft fuselage section (section 16/18) and the first pressure bulkhead made of carbon fibre composite (CFC) materials has now been delivered to Airbus.

These parts mark a paradigm shift in the move from predominantly metal aircraft construction towards the use of CFC technology. Premium AEROTEC is the most important aerostructures supplier for this new long-haul aircraft worldwide.

For the first time ever, the patented VAP® (Vacuum Assisted Process) technology is now also being used in the production of CFRP pressure bulkheads for civil Airbus aircraft. This technology makes it possible to produce the entire CFRP component (approx. 4,5 metres in diameter) with all of the necessary reinforcements (stringers) in a single step. This, in turn, ensures optimum weight optimisation for the A350's rear pressure bulkhead. The whole assembly is completed by a titanium ring frame as well as CFRP integration parts (L chords & shear webs).

Handover of the side shells of the aft fuselage section (section 16/18). The side shells are 14 metres long and almost 5.5 metres wide.

Premium AEROTEC generated revenues of about 1.3 billion euros in 2010. Its core business is the development and manufacturing of metal and carbon composite aerostructures and the associated equipment and production systems. The company has production plants in Augsburg, Bremen, Nordenham and Varel in Germany, and in Braşov County, Romania.