[L’image du jour] Kick-off for the central fuselage assembly of the A321 XLR aircraft, the commercial nugget of Airbus

This is an important step for the European aircraft manufacturer and its A321 XLR (Xtra Long Range). The first central box of the new generation Airbus single-aisle has just been delivered to the assembly site in Hamburg (Germany), 16 months after the machining of the first metal sections. With the delivery of this part, the manufacture of the central fuselage will be able to begin, with a view to commissioning the aircraft in 2023.

This is good news for the aircraft manufacturer, which relies heavily on this medium-haul model capable of ensuring journeys that were previously reserved for long-haul routes. Since its presentation at Le Bourget in June 2019, commercial success seems to be there, since 450 aircraft have already been ordered.



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Nantes manufacture

The Center Wing Box, the base on which the aircraft’s wings will be integrated and on which its central fuselage will rest, was built on the Nantes (Loire-Atlantique) Airbus site. The factory specializes in the production of this centerpiece, the cornerstone of aircraft and the first structural element to come out of the factories. In addition to the central chamber, the site manufactures the air inlets for the A330 Neo reactors and the radomes (aircraft nozzle). In July 2020, hit by the health crisis, Airbus announced the elimination of 386 out of the 3,000 jobs on the Nantes site.

Some major innovations

To support the increased weight of the A321XLR, stringers (the parts that support the fenders), frames and the top and bottom panels have been reinforced. “Fuel system components have also been added to the CWB to allow fuel to be supplied to the new rear center tank (…) which provides the A321XLR with an increased fuel capacity of approximately 12,900 liters, resulting in a total maximum of 40,000 liters on board the aircraft, “said Airbus.

Source: UsineNouvelle – Actualités A la une by www.usinenouvelle.com.

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