02 August 2013

GE Aviation to build a composite facility to support A350 XWB series ramp-up up to 13 shipsets of wing FTE components per month.

The company has begun the development of a 9,000-square-meter composites production facility at its Hamble, U.K. site as part of a 5-year, $50 million-plus investment at the site to support the company's manufacture of wing components for the Airbus A350 XWB jetliner family.

This facility will enable GE Aviation, Hamble to ramp-up the output of wing fixed trailing edge components for 3 models of A350 XWB, reaching the capacity to deliver up to 13 shipsets per month. The A350 XWB package is the largest production contract awarded in GE Aviation Hamble's 75-year history, comprising more than 3,000 components that include structural composite panels and complex machined assemblies.

"Our new production capability at Hamble is part of investments that contribute to a transformation of GE Aviation's aerostructures business as we meet the program requirements of today and in the future," said Steve Walters, general manager of Mechanical Systems for GE Aviation.

The Hamble composites facility is based on a sustainable building concept that will include a 2,000-square-meter clean room, 2 autoclaves and 4 large curing ovens for out-of-autoclave composites production, 5-axis machine tools, non-destructive testing facilities and offices for administrative and engineering personnel.

The development involves the complete conversion of 2 existing buildings at the historic Hamble-le-Rice aviation production site in Southampton, Hampshire to create the new facility, which is expected to become operational in early 2015.

Based on the article “GE Aviation to build a new composite facility in U.K. to support A350XWB production” published in JEC Composites

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