A fast-paced video from Airbus paints a picture of how assembly operations will flow inside the company’s first U.S. manufacturing facility, where production has quietly begun in recent days. Airbus is holding a grand opening ceremony for the Alabama facility Monday, signifying the production launch.
In the video, an A320 Family jetliner is assembled on one of Airbus’ three existing final assembly lines for single-aisle passenger aircraft. The video shows the plane’s major components arriving at the manufacturing facility, where the fuselage is assembled, the wings and tail are attached, and the engines mounted.
FIRST U.S. MANUFACTURING FACILITY
The A320 Family is now produced in Europe on lines in Toulouse, France, and Hamburg, Germany, as well as in Tianjin, China. The Alabama plant, located on 116 acres at the former Brookley Air Force Base, will produce four passenger jets per month at full production.
Unlike in the Airbus A320 aircraft assembly video, aircraft components will arrive in Alabama from Europe via cargo ship, rather than Beluga transport. In June, the BBC Fuji arrived at the Port of Mobile with the first major components for the maiden Alabama-made passenger jet – an A321ceo bound for JetBlue Airways.
Customer delivery of the first jet is scheduled for 2016 at the Aeroplex.
Toulouse-based Airbus selected Alabama in 2012 as the home for its most advanced assembly facility, solidifying its strategy to become a global manufacturer.