New Factory Will Produce A350 XWB Center Fuselage Sections
A new half-million square foot manufacturing facility which
just opened in Kinston, NC will design and fabricate the composite
center fuselage upper and lower shells (section 15) and front wing
spar for the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft. Design work has been
underway for approximately two years, and the manufacturing process
will begin immediately.
Spirit AeroSystems formally opened its new plant on July 1. The
ceremony was hosted by Spirit President and CEO Jeff Turner, and
Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders. Other special guests included
Governor Beverly Perdue, along with numerous community partners
from around the region and state.
"We are proud of what Spirit has achieved over the last two
years and honoured to have been invited to Kinston to witness the
opening of this high-tech facility. Here at the Kinston plant an
important part of our all new A350 XWB will be manufactured," said
Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO. "Our cooperation with Spirit
is an example of how Airbus is growing its partnerships in the
United States, both supporting jobs and contributing to the
American economy," he added.
"The Kinston community has been more than welcoming to Spirit,"
said Dan Wheeler, vice president/general manager, North Carolina
Business Unit. "From the announcement and groundbreaking in 2008,
to the occupancy ceremony in April, to the grand opening today,
it's been a challenging yet rewarding experience for everyone
involved. We can't wait to begin producing quality components for
Airbus at this site."
"We've been anticipating this day for quite some time," said
Jeff Turner, Spirit president and CEO. "I'm proud of our team for
many reasons, including staying on-track with the development of
this facility as well as reaching critical milestones for this
program. The innovative design/build process we've created will
undoubtedly bring value to our customer."
Initial employment is on track to exceed 200 by the end of the
year, and will grow to about 700 over the next few years on the
Airbus work statement alone. Reaching the total employment goal of
1,000 will require placing additional work at this site.
Computer Rendering Of A350 In United Airlines
Spirit won a contract with Airbus in May 2008 to design and
produce the A350 XWB's composite fuselage structure, known as
Section 15, which will be approximately 65 feet long, 20 feet wide
and weigh nearly 9,000 pounds. The company also will produce the
front spar for the aircraft's wings at the Kinston plant. The spar
is a wing structure made of nearly 100 percent composite material,
weighs more than 2,000 pounds, and measures approximately 105 feet
Fuselage components designed and manufactured in North Carolina
will be shipped across the Atlantic, received at Spirit's new
facility in Saint-Nazaire, France, and assembled before being
transported to Airbus as "Section 15." The front spar will be
shipped to Spirit's UK operations in Prestwick, Scotland, for
integration into the wing leading edges before being shipped to
Airbus for final assembly.