If you’re interested in aviation, then you probably already know that assembling a commercial aircraft like the Airbus A350 is not an easy feat. In fact, it requires a logistical masterpiece, highly-skilled specialists, innovative materials, and a lot of risk factors.
To understand what goes into creating a modern aircraft like the Airbus A350, you might want to check out the documentary “Assembling the Airbus A350.” The documentary takes you through the journey of the 2.5 million individual parts that are delivered from all over the world to assemble this masterpiece of aeronautic engineering.
It takes 1800 specialists from Toulouse, France, to assemble the A350. The goal is to create an aircraft with minimal consumption and maximum range. With 53 percent of the aircraft consisting of modern ultra-light composite material, this innovative material requires entirely new manufacturing processes. The process presents a challenge for the aircraft manufacturers in Toulouse, but it’s a challenge they take on with great passion.
The production of the A350 involves many different suppliers and risk factors. And the pressure is high, as the modern aircraft is extremely popular with airlines. In fact, as of now, there are 890 pending orders for the A350. To meet the demand, ten aircraft must leave the factory every month no matter what.
In addition to the logistical masterpiece required to assemble the A350, the individual parts of the aircraft travel from various Airbus plants in Europe to Toulouse. The front and center sections come from Saint-Nazaire in France, the tail section from Hamburg, the wings from Broughton in Wales and Bremen, and the tail fin from Getafe in Spain. The factory in Toulouse is supplied with these parts by a specially developed transport aircraft, the Beluga. Several times a day, five of these machines commute between the various plants and bring supplies for production seven days a week from early in the morning until midnight.
By the time the A350 is fully assembled, it will have passed through seven hangars or “stations.” Given the extremely high number of components that have to be assembled and the large number of different suppliers, there’s no doubt that this process is impressive and fascinating to watch.
The documentary “Assembling the Airbus A350” takes you behind the scenes of this incredible process. If you’re interested in the innovation and logistics behind modern engineering marvels, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!