Boeing and Airbus are still looking for the right balance in outsourcing, or at least for the right way to run the massively outsourced production organizations on which they base their latest airliner programs.
EADS’s failure to divest itself of major Airbus production sites in both France and Germany as part of its Power8 restructuring plan hasn’t threatened a delay in the development schedule for the A350XWB, according to the European group’s CEO Louis Gallois. However, in the build-up to this week’s Farnborough airshow, questions remained over how long the company could wait before the program begins to lose its development rhythm.
Airbus’ Power8 restructuring program has so far done what its designers intended it to do at its inception in February 2007, achieving a reduction in overhead and costs while finding partners for the aerostructures sites the company wants to sell, according to Airbus president and chief executive officer Tom Enders. “Power8 is not only a cost-cutting program.
Dassault Aviation has completed assembly of the first Falcon 7X business jet and is aiming to fly it in March. The construction process for the Falcon 7X took just seven months, about half the time it took the company to build the first example of its current flagship, the Falcon 900EX. The manufacturer was aiming to have the aircraft powered up by the end of last month, with a view to conducting a ground run by year-end.
Leading French equipment maker Latécoère may take over one of the three sites for which Airbus is seeking a strategic industrial partnership under its Power8 plan. At the same time, it may also open a new division to manufacture composite panels for the European airframer’s new A350XWB airliner.
France’s Aerospace Valley, with 94,000 jobs at 1,300 companies (including approximately 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises– SMEs) and 8,500 research positions, has emerged on the industry map as Europe’s only true aerospace cluster. Aerospace Valley, the cooperative venture between Midi-Pyrénées and the neighboring southwest region of Aquitaine representing 61 SMEs, is again exhibiting here at Le Bourget in Hall 4.
What do the Airbus A380, Embraer 195 and Falcon 7X have in common, apart from being on display for the first time here at the Paris Air Show this week? They share the same supplier of their wings’ leading edges.
Acquisitions and factory expansion, especially in low-cost production locations, led to an almost one-third jump in year-over-year revenues in 2004 at French aerospace equipment maker Latécoère. According to president and CEO François Bernard, production increased across all its aerostructures programs, and especially for the new Airbus A380 airliner, the Dassault Falcon 7X business jet and the Embraer 170/190 regional jets.