Today saw delivery of the first Airbus A350 XWB in which most members of the HEGAN Cluster have been involved
With the delivery of the first A350 XWB to the launch customer Qatar Airways, planned for today, Airbus will start production on its latest wide-body aircraft. After many years of development, the A350 XWB incorporates the latest designs in aeronautics and advanced materials. Fifty-three per cent of the structure is made up of composites, and the aircraft is powered by a new, efficient engine, the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB, which allows a 25% reduction in fuel consumption and lower emissions, as well as lower maintenance costs.
A total of 32 associate companies of the HEGAN Aeronautics and Space Cluster of the Basque Country – including the tier-1 companies Aciturri, Aernnova, Alestis and ITP – are taking part in the production of this aircraft, which is expected to come into operation in mid-January between the airports of Doha (Qatar) and Frankfurt. Through the provision of work packages as risk partners as well as engineering, services and miscellaneous components, our associate members have strengthened their reputation as technological companies. In total, Airbus has 778 orders for this new aircraft including 80 contracted by the Gulf airline.
Over the last four years, HEGAN’s tier-1 companies estimate that they have invested around 700 million euros in development engineering and the setting up of industrial installations built in order to develop the A350XWB project. On the other hand, the large work packages carried out for this aircraft have led to the creation of 4000 jobs and a turnover of more than 10,000 million dollars throughout the lifetime of the programme. It has also boosted the development of the auxiliary industry, as more than 75% of HEGAN’s associate companies are working on this programme, either directly for Airbus or through national or foreign tier-1 suppliers. This participation has been in the form of design and engineering as well as materials, tooling, manufacture, heat treatments, testing and logistics, virtually the entire supply chain.
Four of HEGAN’s partners are currently engaged in the production of this aircraft, built by European aeronautics manufacturer, AIRBUS, supplying large work packages in the areas of aerostructures and engines. Aernnova and Alestis were the first companies to clinch macro-contracts for a total value of 4,000 million dollars for the manufacture of carbon fibre components and structures over the next 30 years, thus becoming tier-1 suppliers and risk partners in this model: Aernnova has worked on the design and manufacture of the horizontal stabiliser, the elevator and the MLGB Rear Bulkhead, as well as the manufacture of the rudder and the design of the trailing edge of the wing. For its part, Alestis is working on the design and manufacture of the belly fairing and section 19.1 (the tail cone).
Likewise, another Spanish tier-1 company, Aciturri, specialises in the manufacture of carbon fibre aerostructures is in charge of the complete development of the vertical tail plane (VTP) of the A350 XWB. Aciturri, also member of HEGAN, joined this project with a contract for the internal structure of section 19 (the area where the fuselage is joined to the vertical and horizontal stabilisers). Both work packages could have a value of 1600 million euros throughout the lifetime of the programme.
The contribution made by the company Reductia Aerospace, formed by two HEGAN members (Burdinberri and Aratz) and the firms Jupasa and Inmapa, has also been noteworthy and has allowed them to carry out tooling turnkey packages for the A350 XWB.
The contribution of the SMEs and technological groups that perform key jobs in this programme is extremely important. These companies include Altran, Astorkia, Burulan, CTA, EYHER, Novalti, Matrici, Metraltec, SENER, Sisteplant and Tecnalia.
In the engines area, the ITP Group and Rolls-Royce Plc signed a contract according to which the first became a supply partner for the design, manufacture and assembly of the Low-Pressure Turbine (LPT) for the Trent XWB, the only engine certified for this aircraft at this time, as well as the rear structure of the engine, representing 4,900 million in turnover during the engine’s service life.
Also with regard to engines, the agreements signed by Metrología Sariki and ITP mean that the Gipuzkoa-based company, specialised in advanced metrology solutions, will collaborate over the next three years on improving the three-dimensional metrological inspection processes of the Group and the supply of the new equipment that the aeronautics turbine manufacturer will purchase for controlling its components for the Trent XWB. For its part, Danobat Group will supply the ITP Group, Rolls-Royce Plc and other specialised grinding companies for the manufacture of shafts, housings and other components of the turbine rotor and for the manufacture of the landing gear. Likewise, it will supply grinding machines and measuring systems for maintaining the rotor blades of the aircraft’s turbines. Also in this engine segment, the work performed by Aciturri, Aibe, Altran, Electrohilo, Industrias Galindo, Novalti, Nuter, Siegel and WEC is also worthy of note.
Another major area is systems and equipment, for which the Gipuzkoa-based company DMP has signed a contract with the French company Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (direct supplier of Airbus and world leader in landing gear) to supply the shock absorbing system for the main landing gear of 475 A350 aircraft for an amount of 15 million euros. In this area, the company, Nuter, also forms part of the value chain.
Likewise, other, highly experienced suppliers such as the heat treatment companies Ayzar, Grupo TTT, Nivac and Tey; the raw materials supplier Mesima; the aeronautics logistics specialist LTK Grupo, entrusted with all the logistics for the A350 XWB for Alestis; and CTA, responsible for the main landing gear actuator tests, as well as aerostructures, are also playing an important part in the programme.
Today, the HEGAN Aeronautics and Space Cluster Association is made up of 41 entities: Aernnova, Grupo ITP and SENER as founding members; the companies and business groups Aciturri, Aeromec, Aerospace Engineering Group, Aibe, Alestis, Alfa Precision Casting, Altran, Aratz, Astorkia, Ayzar, Bost Machine Tool Company , Burdinberri, Burulan, Danobat Group, DMP, DYFA, EYHER, Electrohilo, Grupo TTT, Industrias Galindo, LTK Grupo, Matrici, Mesima, Metraltec, Nivac, Novalti, Nuter, Orbital Aerospace Systems, Sariki, Siegel, Sisteplant, Tecnasa, Tey, Tamoin and WEC; and the technological organisations CTA, IK4 and Tecnalia.
Together, these organisations have created 12,418 direct jobs in plants located throughout the world and 50,000 jobs if we add indirect jobs to this total. In 2013, they attained a turnover of 1,720 million euros, with exports valued at 1,100 million euros and allocated 166 million euros to R&D investments. The Cluster’s associate members have 24 plants abroad (Germany, Brazil, China, USA, India, Malta, Mexico, Portugal, GB and Rumania) of the total of 141 existing installations.
- Encendido 22/12/2014