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Eurocopter signs contract with Airbus to manufacture A350 XWB doors in Donauwörth

Eurocopter’s collaboration with Airbus on the new A350 XWB long-haul airliner, took a new dimension yesterday in the signing of a major contract at the Eurocopter facility in Donauwörth. The number one helicopter manufacturer has been chosen to develop and manufacture the door systems for the most recent member of the Airbus fleet. The contract for the development, production and delivery of all passenger and cargo doors for the A350 XWB was signed on behalf of Airbus by Klaus Richter, Executive Vice President Procurement, and on behalf of Eurocopter Deutschland by Dr. Wolfgang Schoder, CEO. The ceremony was attended by high-ranking government officials, including Parliamentary State Secretary Peter Hintze, and by Dr. Lutz Bertling, President and CEO of the Eurocopter Group. The 1.5 billion euro contract represents a further step in the process of generating synergies between helicopter manufacturing and the design of aircraft doors in general. By assuming responsibility for the development and manufacture of all A350 XWB doors, Eurocopter has reached another milestone in its efforts to be recognized as a fully-fledged systems provider. “This A350 XWB contract with Airbus, which gives us the go-ahead for the production phase, is of decisive importance to the future sustainability of our manufacturing site in Germany,” declared Lutz Bertling, President and CEO of the Eurocopter Group. “It confirms our position as an experienced and highly skilled manufacturer of aircraft components, rather than merely as a leader in the helicopter business,” he added. “It also confirms that our Center of Excellence for Airplane Door Systems is on the right track by shifting its focus from traditional metal structures to new manufacturing technologies based on composite materials.“ More than 150 Eurocopter engineers have been involved in the conceptual design, development and pre-production phases of this project since it was launched in 1997. An estimated budget of nearly 1.5 billion euros has been set aside to cover the total expenditure on door systems for the planned family of A350 XWB aircraft, including work subcontracted to program partners in South Korea. It is a worthwhile investment, given that, once series production starts, it will secure up to 500 jobs in Donauwörth and the surrounding region. Delivery of the first door systems is scheduled for the end of 2010, initially for testing. Parliamentary State Secretary and coordinator of the German federal government for the aerospace industry Peter Hintze congratulated Eurocopter on being selected as the sole supplier of all A350 XWB passenger and cargo doors, and hailed this as a clear signal to the aerospace industry that Germany intends to maintain its lead in this high-technology sector. Hintze also stressed that, “as well as confirming Eurocopter’s power in innovation, this contract will also secure a considerable number of jobs in Bavaria. Moreover, the company’s achievements serve as an outstanding example of manufacturing excellence in Germany.”

Press release issued by Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH on July 13, 2010

 

 Contact details from our directory:
Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Helicopter Rotors, Aircraft Doors, Final Assembly, Fuselage Sections
Airbus S.A.S. Airframer

 

 Related aircraft programs:
Airbus A350 XWB

 

 Related directory sectors:
Airframe Assemblies

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