Today marks the start of production work on the Airbus A380 in Germany, following the traditional “first metal cut” in Airbus’ Nantes site in France earlier this year. The Bremen site is the first Airbus plant in Germany to begin work on the superjumbo.

Two formed sheet metal parts of aluminium were completed for later integration into the fuselage section aft of the wings. These two initial 2.5 and 2.8 mm thick metal components are in fact clips which serve as a connecting element between frame assemblies, stringers and the fuselage shell. The Bremen site is also responsible for producing the high-lift systems (landing flaps) of the A380.

Bremen is the second largest Airbus site in Germany after Hamburg and, as well as housing one of Airbus’ five main design offices, it focuses on widebody wing equipping and the manufacture of high lift components and sheet metal parts. Each year roughly 2.5 million metal parts for all Airbus models are produced in Bremen by means of the CIAM (Computerised Integrated Automated Manufacturing) forming process.

A380 production started on 23 January this year at the Airbus’ Nantes site which began producing the wing root fairings from aluminium and the wing box from CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced plastics). In October 2003, A380 components from all Airbus plants all over Europe will be transported to Toulouse, where final assembly of the first A380 will take place. To date, the A380 has won 97 firm orders and commitments.

Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. Airbus has delivered over 2,800 aircraft to 180 customers world-wide, and boasts a healthy order book of more than 1,500 aircraft for delivery over the coming years. With an annual turnover of 20.5 billion Euro in 2001, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is a joint EADS Company with BAE SYSTEMS.