Airbus UK

Contains threads on equipment developed by the UK defence and aerospace industry, but not in service with the British Armed Forces.
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SKB
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Airbus UK

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Image

Introduction
Airbus UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus SAS which produces wings for the Airbus aircraft family. When Airbus was incorporated as a joint-stock company in 2001 BAE transferred its UK Airbus facilities in return for a 20% share of the new company. These facilities became Airbus UK. Airbus UK has two main sites responsible for the design and manufacture of the high-technology wings for all Airbus models as well as overall design and supply of the fuel system. For most Airbus models the company is responsible for overall design and supply of landing gear. The company employs around 13,000 people at two sites: Filton, where the engineering and design activity takes place along with some manufacturing, and Broughton where other major wing component manufacturing and all wing assembly takes place.


History
Hawker Siddeley (which merged with British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) in 1977 to form British Aerospace) was part of the first Airbus project, the Airbus A300. The British government withdrew support in 1969 but Hawker Siddeley was allowed to continue as supplier of the aircraft's wings due to the advanced stages of design and the reluctance of other nations to take over the wing design. In 1979 BAe rejoined the Airbus consortium. In 2001 Airbus Industrie became Airbus S.A.S., the Airbus Integrated Company.

Airbus UK started work on the wings for the Airbus A380 in August 2002.

In April 2006 BAE Systems announced its intention to sell its share of Airbus SAS to EADS. BAE originally sought to agree a price with EADS through an informal process. However, due to the slow pace of negotiations and disagreements over price, BAE exercised its put option which saw investment bank Rothschild appointed to give an independent valuation.

On July 2, 2006 Rothschild valued BAE's stake at £1.9 billion (€2.75 billion); well below the expectation of BAE, analysts and even EADS.[4] On 5 July 2006 BAE appointed independent auditors to study why the value of its share of Airbus had fallen from the original estimates to the Rothschild valuation. On 6 September 2006 BAE agreed to sell its stake in Airbus to EADS for £1.87 billion (€2.75 billion, $3.53 billion), pending BAE shareholder approval. On 4 October shareholders voted in favour of the sale.


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Airbus wing design and production was assigned to UK largely because of the advanced wing design of Hawker Siddeley Trident (D.H.121), designed by De Havilland. In the early days of Airbus, De Havilland design teams based in Hatfield worked on Airbus wing design and wing assembly was carried out in Broughton (a De Havilland manufacturing site). When Hawker Siddeley (the parent company of De Havilland) became part of British Aerospace, the Hatfield site was closed. From the 1990s onwards, Airbus design work has been carried out at the Filton site, which was originally the Bristol Aeroplane Company.


Image
^ Airbus Filton

Airbus Filton
The Filton site is located on the former Bristol Aeroplane Company site, which was later used as the final assembly line for the British-built Concorde aircraft (the French-built Concordes were assembled in Toulouse, which is also now an Airbus site).

Airbus Filton employs over 4,500 people in a variety of roles. The site is responsible for the design of the wing structure, fuel systems and landing gear integration. Some manufacturing also takes place in Filton, including the wing assembly for the A400M. Aerodynamics work, research and testing is also carried out. In 2008, Airbus sold most of the component manufacturing activities on the Filton site to GKN, which continues use these facilities to manufacture Airbus parts as a subcontractor. In 2011 Airbus announced the construction of a new office complex, referred to as the "Aerospace Park", at the Filton site.


Image
^ Airbus Broughton

Airbus Broughton
The current Airbus Broughton site was founded in 1939 as a Shadow Factory for the production of the Vickers Wellington and the Avro Lancaster. After the War De Havilland took over the factory and it was used to produce various aircraft, including the Mosquito and the Comet.

Today Airbus Broughton employs over 5,000 people, mostly in manufacturing roles. The site is responsible for the wing assembly for all Airbus aircraft, with the exception of the Chinese A320s (these wings are assembled in China) and the A400M (assembled in Filton). Airbus wings are transported by Airbus Beluga or ship (in the case of the A380) to the final assembly lines at Airbus Toulouse.


Aircraft
Airbus A300 (production ceased)
Airbus A310 (production ceased)
Airbus A310 MRTT
Airbus A320 family (A318, A319, A320, A321)
Airbus A330
Airbus A330 MRTT
Airbus A340 (production ceased)
Airbus A350
Airbus A380
Airbus A400M
Airbus Beluga

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Re: Airbus UK

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Re: Airbus UK

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Preparing for Farnborough


Monday's Airbus flying displays.

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Re: Airbus UK

Post by marktigger »

given Airbus will be working on a stealthy tornado replacement for the Luftwaffe I wonder if Airbus UK will be involved

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Re: Airbus UK

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

marktigger wrote:given Airbus will be working on a stealthy tornado replacement for the Luftwaffe I wonder if Airbus UK will be involved
I guess the question is more about which companies are guided (by the nose) by their respective gvmnt clients (NB the plural) and which on going try to set the risk/ reward balance right with a view of the global market and its trends.

Is it a coincidence that the projects now brewing for a 5th gen replacement are in countries that have kept their Phantoms flying longest: Japan (production decision due in 2018), Turkey (well, are ther any facts, or just ambition) and Germany (Spain has no money and Italy - no money either, but borrowing intently - as well as the UK -almost no money, but by stretching the procurement over decades we might just make it,,, the latter two, as someone said having already gone in a different direction)
- are the same countries that have kept their powder dry, in procurement dollars, by delaying?
- end result might be that rather than doing tech transfer from those who have learned by paying for mistakes, actually, the market will be locked up and any late entrants will end up with astronomical unit costs (being the only buyers for the products of the "National Champion"?

Apologies for a longish quote, but there (below) is an example of trying to align Customer Value and Share Holder Value and what kind of process is required for achieving it - "doing nothing" is not that option, but rather cutting when it becomes apparent that good money would be thrown after the bad (already gone):

"Wesley Bush, Northrop Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Yes, Rob [a share analyst, who asked the question on investors' behalf], it's a really good question and I think an important one in the environment that we are in and so let me give a framework that I see right now. And I think our customers actually being thoughtful in how they are approaching this.

There are some things that our customers’ going to want to buy where there isn't that much differentiation in the type of outcome of the product. And in those cases, it appears they are making what seems like a reasonably good decision to really focus on the cost and to drive for the lowest cost answer they can get.

And in some instances that might be interesting to us, if we think we've got a particular architectural approach or engineering approach that positions an end-product in a very low cost part of the coordinate system, then we might look at that and see what the returns look like. If it's a situation where it's just low cost because that's what the customer really cares about and we don't see a whole lot of differentiation across the spectrum, those are probably less interesting opportunities for us.

So if you look at the – I won't go contract-by-contract in terms of the opportunities that are out there, because we are in a competitive state right now and would not want to say too much about each and every one of them. But there are others where our customer is transmitting the message in their RFP and in other ways that while cost is always critically important, they see a little bit of a trade space between cost and performance and value. And those tend to be a little bit more interesting.

So, we look at each and every one of these and do a very detailed diagnostic and we look at it in the – through the lens, through what I would call a non-advocate lens within our company to ensure that we are not kidding ourselves about what the real investment and cost would look like and then we call it."

OK, the context was about the future US trainer aircraft, but the process should apply also in companies that have "been groomed" as National Champions as otherwise all we (or anyone else, for that matter) will get are endless pits for subsidy money - of course not called that, but rather something like single sourced R&D and Design contracts.
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Airbus UK

Post by shark bait »

Airbus designs and builds all its wings in the UK, so undoubtedly there would be some UK input, but doesn't that project remain mostly a fantasy at the moment?
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Re: Airbus UK

Post by Defiance »

Largely, there is some intention in the Luftwaffe to stretch their Tornados out to 2040 (more conservative estimates are ~2025 i think). Unless you start seeing German Govt funding go into this then it'll remain a proposal rather than a program, everyone else in Europe has their money already allotted.

More than likely they'll get involved in someone elses program than go it alone IMO

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Re: Airbus UK

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Quoting the last sentence in the above, there are not many prgrms left now that Turkey's has landed, so it seems , with BAE.

Korea is the obvious one, here is an assessment from 2015
"while Airbus seems to have little chance of winning the new fighter competition -- it could have quite a lot to lose.

Newsflash: Fighter jets are expensive
According to media reports, developing Korea's new fighter jet could easily cost the winning team between $10 billion and $30 billion.[ THE SAME BALL PARK WAS INDICATED IN THE MORE RECENT NEWS FOR THE TURKISH PRGRM, FROM START TO MATURE PRODUCT] That seems like an awful lot of money for Airbus to want to invest, just to win a contract worth only $8 billion. [THE ANALYSTS SEEM TO BE BELIEVING IN THE LIKELY EXPORT MARKETS BEING "LOCKED-IN" TO OTHER CHOICES BY THEN]

What's more, raising the cash to develop a new fighter jet won't be easy. Airbus partner Korean Air is basically broke. S&P Capital IQ data shows Korean Air having $13.7 billion more debt than cash on its balance sheet, and $235 million in losses racked up over the past four quarters reported on its income statement.[KAI leads the other camp, in competing for the development contract]
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Airbus UK

Post by Defiance »

I was thinking more like within Europe, they may feel that the best chance for their industry is to hitch up with UK/France in certain areas, if anything at least to not let the capability die out.

Internationally fighter development programs are heaviliy political, does Germany have the desire to do that sort of work and take on the role of 'special friend' for that country? Because that's what these are first and foremost, demonstrations of political relationships. BAE may have the capability but the Government would've been heavily involved in the brokering.

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Re: Airbus UK

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Airbus presents the A380plus

(Airbus)
Airbus is presenting a development study for an enhanced A380, the “A380plus”. The study includes aerodynamic improvements in particular new, large winglets and other wing refinements that allow for up to 4% fuel burn savings. Added to an optimised A380 maintenance programme and the enhanced cabin features first shown at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in April, the overall benefit is a 13% cost per seat reduction versus today’s A380.

John Leahy, Airbus COO Customers, explains: “The A380plus is an efficient way to offer even better economics and improved operational performance at the same time.” John adds: “It is a new step for our iconic aircraft to best serve worldwide fast-growing traffic and the evolving needs of the A380 customers. The A380 is well-proven as the solution to increasing congestion at large airports, and in offering a unique, passenger-preferred experience. ”

The new winglets measure approximately 4,7 metres in height (an uplet of 3.5m, and a downlet of 1,2m). It is designed to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag.

The optimised cabin layout based on the ‘cabin enablers’ presented at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), allows up to 80 additional seats* with no compromise on comfort: redesigned stairs, a combined crew-rest compartment, sidewall stowage removal, a new 9-abreast seat configuration in premium economy and 11-abreast in economy.

The A380plus will have an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 578 tonnes providing the flexibility of carrying up to 80 more passengers over today’s range (8,200nm), or flying 300nm further.

The A380plus features longer maintenance check intervals, a reduced six-year check downtime, and systems improvements, which will reduce maintenance costs and increase aircraft availability.

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Re: Airbus UK

Post by swoop »

a new 9-abreast seat configuration in premium economy and 11-abreast in economy.

Damn. 5-abreast in the centre section? Back to the really bad old days of cattle-class 747 flights.


I was really impressed with the 380 flight to London last year, even being at the rear upper deck, furthest rear seats. Lots of space and easy to move around.

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Re: Airbus UK

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Bad news for our "own" 40 mm autocannon's export prospects (outside the UK, France and Belgium):

"The MK44 Bushmaster Chain Gun is available new as a 30mm or 40mm weapon. Following the completion of the 30mm demonstration, the system was upgunned in about an hour’s time and readied to fire 40mm ammunition.

During the demonstration, the 40mm configuration showed the increased firepower that the 40mm cannon and ammunition were engaged against similar target panels.

The MK44 also fired newly developed 40mm Programmable Air Burst Munitions on a replicated target set in a combat-defilade position.

The company is developing and qualifying an entire Super 40mm family of ammunition to include Target Practice with Tracer, High Explosive Incendiary with Tracer and an Armor Penetrating Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot with Tracer round and the PABM."

Through the large installed base the time to market will be very quick

Quote from: https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/land ... chain-gun/
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Airbus UK

Post by matt00773 »

News of Airbus getting the Skynet 6 satellite deal with no competition. Expected to be operational by the mid 20s.

http://www.defensenews.com/space/2017/0 ... mpetition/

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Re: Airbus UK

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Published on 6th November 2017
Airbus has pioneered many of the technologies that helped humanity reach the skies and stars and are now part of everyday life. Developing aircraft that fly faster, further and more efficiently; exploring the distant reaches of space; and protecting our security here on earth. Discover Airbus’ place in the history of aerospace and defence and celebrate the outstanding pioneers who helped shape the world of aviation.

Explore our history on: www.airbusgroup.com/heritage

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Re: Airbus UK

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Airbus achieves world’s first fully automatic refuelling contacts

(Airbus Defence and Space) 17th April 2020
Airbus has achieved the first ever fully automatic air-to-air refuelling (A3R) operation with a boom system. The flight test campaign, conducted earlier in the year over the Atlantic Ocean, involved an Airbus tanker test aircraft equipped with the Airbus A3R solution, with an F-16 fighter aircraft of the Portuguese Air Force acting as a receiver.

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Re: Airbus UK

Post by J. Tattersall »

Airbus opens new £35 million space and defence HQ in Stevenage
https://www.mtdmfg.com/news/airbus-open ... stevenage/

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Re: Airbus UK

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

If we go on-the-cheap with the 'new' micro-satellite network (near-earth), then I wonder how it will play out (GPS services aside; a different discussion) as for the properties in what we have as of today, from the link above
" Airbus designed, built, and owns and operates for the UK MOD the Skynet 5 milsatcom constellation, the world’s most powerful, nuclear hardened and protected, military X-band and UHF satellite fleet."
- safety in numbers?
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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