GE Aviation’s aerostructures division has started building a 97,000-sq-ft composites factory at Hamble in the UK. The work is part of a $50 million investment at the site to support its role in making wing components for the new Airbus A350 XWB airliner and is due to be completed in early 2015.
The new facility will allow GE to increase output of wing fixed trailing edge components for the A350-800, A350-900 and A350-1000 models, reaching the capacity to deliver 13 shipsets per month. The work is the largest contract in the Hamble plant’s 75-year history, comprising 3,000 components that include structural composite panels and complex machined assemblies.
“Our new production capability at Hamble is part of investments that contribute to a transformation of GE Aviation’s aerostructures business as we meet the program requirements of today and in the future,” said Steve Walters, general manager of mechanical systems at GE Aviation (Hall 2a C252).
The Hamble composites factory is based on a sustainable building concept that will include 21,500-sq-ft clean room, two autoclaves and four large curing ovens for out-of-autoclave composites production, five-axis machine tools, non-destructive testing facilities and offices for administrative and engineering personnel.