Spirit AeroSystems opens A350 XWB facility
Spirit AeroSystems today formally opened its new 500,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Kinston, N.C. Employees at the facility will design and manufacture the composite center fuselage upper and lower shells (Section 15) and front wing spar for the Airbus A350 XWB.
The ceremony was hosted by Spirit President and CEO Jeff Turner, and Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders. "We are proud of what Spirit has achieved over the last two years and honoured to have been invited to Kinston to witness the opening of this high-tech facility. Here at the Kinston plant an important part of our all new A350 XWB will be manufactured," said Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO. "Our cooperation with Spirit is an example of how Airbus is growing its partnerships in the United States, both supporting jobs and contributing to the American economy," he added.
Initial employment is on track to exceed 200 by the end of the year, and will grow to about 700 over the next few years on the Airbus work statement alone. Reaching the total employment goal of 1,000 will require placing additional work at this site.
Spirit won a contract with Airbus in May 2008 to design and produce the A350 XWB's composite fuselage structure, known as Section 15, which will be approximately 65 feet long, 20 feet wide and weigh nearly 9,000 pounds. The company also will produce the front spar for the aircraft's wings at the Kinston plant. The spar is a wing structure made of nearly 100 percent composite material, weighs more than 2,000 pounds, and measures approximately 105 feet long.
Fuselage components designed and manufactured in North Carolina will be shipped across the Atlantic, received at Spirit's new facility in Saint-Nazaire, France, and assembled before being transported to Airbus as "Section 15." The front spar will be shipped to Spirit's UK operations in Prestwick, Scotland, for integration into the wing leading edges before being shipped to Airbus for final assembly.