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Airbus, Hexcel celebrate milestone production rate, decades of collaboration during National Composites Week

Airbus today joined Hexcel in Salt Lake City to thank the company's employees for more than 40 years of collaboration and success, and to recognize that the plant has reached a signification milestone: entering its first year at full rate for the A350 program. The event was timed to coincide with the launch of the first National Composites Week, which has been established to celebrate the growing influence of composites--especially in commercial aerospace. Hexcel has been a prime supplier of composite materials to Airbus since the early 1970s when carbon fiber spoilers and fairings for the first A300 were manufactured. Today, Hexcel products are found on every Airbus commercial aircraft in service.

Hexcel Salt Lake City supports Airbus programs with multiple carbon fiber lines and has ramped up production steadily over the past several years to meet Airbus requirements. The plant is producing record-setting volume of aerospace-grade carbon fiber used to produce material for Airbus and its suppliers. Several other Hexcel plants worldwide also support various Airbus programs.

"Airbus has worked with Hexcel for more than 40 years, from the A300B back in the '70s, where the first secondary structures were made in composite, to today with the A350 XWB. This aircraft is more than 50 percent lightweight composite material. Combined with the very latest aerodynamics, and the new generation engines, the A350 XWB brings a 25% advantage in fuel burn and operating costs. Each aircraft has close to $5 million of Hexcel advanced composites on board. That is something to be proud of," said Pierre-Laurent Mace, Vice President-Airbus Americas Procurement, to employees at the Hexcel facility.

As carbon fiber and composites production has grown at the plant, so has employment. Since the first A350 was delivered in December 2014, Hexcel Salt Lake City employment has grown to about 1,200 people, largely fueled by the A350 program growth.

Nick Stanage, Hexcel Chairman, President and CEO said, "Our partnership with Airbus is one of our most valued customer relationships, and the A350 contract was the largest in our history. Thanks to Airbus' confidence in our people, products and processes, we have clearly proven that our advanced composites are the way of the future in next-generation commercial aircraft programs."

Press release issued by Airbus Group North America on August 28, 2019

 

 Contact details from our directory:
Airbus Group North America Airframer
Hexcel Corporation Additive Manufacturing (Resin), Thermosetting Plastics

 

 Related aircraft programs:
Airbus A350 XWB

 

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