Airbus announced that it has opened a special facility for the A321XLR in Hamburg, Germany.
According to the planemaker’s announcement, the facility at the German city comes with a “new automated A321XLR equipping hangar”, opened on August 30, 2023. The First Mayor of Hamburg Peter Tschentscher and the German Aerospace Coordinator Anna Christmann attended the opening ceremony.
“With our new, state-of-the-art equipment installation hangar, we are now expanding our capacity to manufacture A321 fuselages and making an important contribution to supporting our ramp up,” André Walter, head of Commercial Aircraft Production in Germany at Airbus, said.
Tschentscher added that the A321XLR will set “new standards in terms of sustainability, efficiency and range” for the Airbus A320 aircraft family.
“The start of production in the new equipment installation hangar is an important project for Hamburg as the world’s third largest civil aviation center,” Tschentscher continued.
The A321XLR hangar was designated as H259 and has 9,600 m2 (103,333.5 feet) of production space. It will welcome the components of rear fuselages for the largest A320neo family aircraft and the hangar “is equipped with a full range of state-of-the-art technologies for operations and manufacturing, such as automated logistics, fully digital systems, and test stations that can output the status of each fuselage section”.
Airbus said that the nearly 24 meters (78.7 ft) long fuselage sections will be equipped with all electrical and mechanical systems and other elements such as windows, floor panels or external antennas on an automated line consisting of eight stations at H259.
Before being moved to the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Hamburg, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will extensively test each fuselage section.
The latest announcement also said that Airbus plans for the A321XLR to enter service in early 2024, with 27 airlines or lessors having ordered 570 aircraft of the type.