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--> The largest passenger airliner in the world, the A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine airliner manufactured by Airbus. Because of its size and to reduce its potential weight, the aircraft was constructed of 40% new composite materials, which also signifi cantly improves the quality of the completed plane. These new materials mandated automated production, rather than the costly and time-consuming manual labor of the past, as well as innovative equipment. AIT was armed with both.
In 2002, AIT was selected as the Prime Contractor
to provide automated turnkey tooling to assemble the Airbus A380 rear fuselage section (Section 19) in Getafe,Spain. The tapered Section 19 is over 32 feet long and 28 feet tall at the forward end – the largest primary  structure carbon fi ber fuselage section constructed at that time. With new automated production assemblies came a new plant fl oor layout and processes, which AIT de- fi ned for Airbus. Inherent effi ciencies in AIT’s deliver- ables resulted in faster cycle times to keep up with the demanding “just-in-time” scheduled transport of various components for fi nal assembly in Hamburg, Germany.
  • System Features

For the Project, AIT provided not only automated, fl ex- ible alignment and positioning equipment but also conventional tooling, including lifting fi xtures, assem- bly jigs, working platforms, and body fi ttings. The new
fl exible tooling helped increase production effi ciencies by allowing equipment to work on various parts with
minimal retooling. AIT also created unique PC-based graphical interface
software to control the positioning systems. Its ease of use has greatly reduced training and operating time.
In addition to the rear fuselage positioning systems,AIT engineered two circumferential drilling machines
that automatically drilled the upper and lower shell assemblies. This new technology was developed to ac-
commodate the enormity of the Section 19 composite structures as well as to speed drill time and accuracy.
The driller, which is 6 meters in diameter and 9 meters long, was designed in AIT’s Plano, TX, and Seattle, WA,facilities and manufactured in our facility in Vancouver,BC, Canada.

Manufacturing Airbus A380 

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