Photo: Deutsche Aircraft
The management team of Deutsche Aircraft and stakeholders and representatives from Leipzig/Halle Airport, the German government and the Free State of Saxony met for a ground-breaking ceremony recently. Seen with shovels are: Nico Neumann, Sebastian Böhnl, Anastasija Visnakova, Götz Ahmelmann, Katrin Lässig, Dave Jackson, Michael Kretschmer and Daniel Riedl.
Construction is under way on an aircraft assembly line for Deutsche Aircraft's new 40-seat turboprop aircraft, the D328eco at Leipzig/Halle Airport. The assembly line will be built on approximately 62,000 square metres and will have a production capacity for forty-eight D328eco aircraft per year. In addition to the production hall, a hangar will be built for aircraft delivery, along with a logistics centre and an administration building with parking spaces.
The facility is designed to be climate-friendly, with a CO2-neutral energy concept and extensive use of renewable energy. It will have solar power from photovoltaics on the roof (750 kW/p.a.) and will make use of efficient heat pumps with energy storage from smart grid batteries or hydrogen fuel cell. There will be a green deck on all buildings, wood-concrete hybrid construction for administration building, and electric charging stations for cars and bicycles using energy from the PV.
“The assembly line is designed to be completely CO2-neutral,” explains Sebastian Böhnl, Director of Infrastructure and Digitalization, as he outlines the energy concept for the whole production facility. “We will produce around 750 kW of solar power with a photovoltaic system on the roof. From the use of heat pumps, the optional expansion with energy storage, green spaces on the roof and the wood-concrete hybrid construction, to electric charging stations for cars and bicycles, this innovative investment is well-integrated into a sustainable production ecosystem.”
Production at the assembly line will be paperless throughout all processes with automated and driverless transport systems, automated parts and tool storage, and 3D model-supported production with the possibility of augmented reality.
Peoduction staff will use energy-efficient battery tools, working to optimal process flows (digitally designed and supported).
It will be a 'glass factory' with the possibility for customers to visit the production line, set within a 62,000 sqm site (about twice the area of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool). The estate will omprise a final assembly line and flight readiness hangar, logistics centre and administration building.
“At Deutsche Aircraft, we take great pride in the construction of our state-of-the-art and climate-friendly final assembly line,” says Nico Neumann, COO. The assembly line will be built and operated in compliance with the best industry practices and sustainability principles.
“This is a key milestone in our D328eco programme and we are pleased to take this step following our programme objectives,” adds Dave Jackson, CEO.
The German government has acknowledged the significant role of Deutsche Aircraft in the aviation industry. “For the German government, Deutsche Aircraft is a strategic partner for the sustainable development of the aviation industry. The D328eco is an important industrial policy project for the German government,” says Dr. Anna Christmann, Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace. “The planned use of 100% SAF in the D328eco as a market-ready option is a key milestone for the aviation industry worldwide. In the coalition agreement, we set ourselves the goal of making Germany a pioneer in climate-neutral aviation.”
The strategic orientation of Deutsche Aircraft and Leipzig/Halle Airport with the support of the Free State of Saxony makes Leipzig an attractive location for the assembly line. The region has an excellent infrastructure, sufficient space and a qualified workforce. In addition, Saxony has a long tradition of aircraft construction, which Deutsche Aircraft can now build on.
Michael Kretschmer, Prime Minister of the Free State of Saxony, notes that: “The establishment of Deutsche Aircraft at Leipzig Airport is a great success and underscores Saxony's attractiveness as a business location. For the first time since reunification, a final assembly line for aircraft construction is being built in the new federal states. As an aircraft manufacturer, Deutsche Aircraft will strengthen the aerospace industry in Saxony and complement the excellent research facilities, supplier companies and maintenance and conversion experts in the Free State. Up to 350 new jobs will be created at Leipzig Airport with state-of-the-art and, more importantly, climate-friendly production conditions.”
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