Artist’s rendering of an A350XWB. Photo: Courtesy, Airbus.

CAC Commercial Aircraft Co. on Wednesday in Beijing signed a contract with Airbus to become the sole supplier of A350 XWB spoilers and droop panels, a deal the European manufacturer said completes its pledge to allocate 5% of the next generation aircraft's production to China (ATW Daily News, Nov. 27, 2007).

Carbon fiber-reinforced plastic will be used "extensively" on the A350's spoiler and droop panels, Airbus noted. "Innovative processes include the resin transfer molding process on the center hinge fitting that attaches the spoiler to the wing structure," it added.

FACC, the Austrian company that is developing and manufacturing winglets for the A350, will be responsible under a separate contract for the definition of the industrial process used to fabricate the spoilers and droop panels, Airbus stated. "Airbus worldwide industrial standards will be applied for the assessment of the products and the training of employees," it added.

"With this contract, we have reached our objective to be part of a global aeronautical manufacturing chain," CAC Chairman Wang Guangya said. "We have long been a supplier to Airbus and have been a partner in several cooperation projects with Airbus."

Airbus Executive VP-Procurement Klaus Richter commented, "With this work package, we have accomplished our commitment to manufacture 5% of the A350 XWB airframe in China. Besides, this is also an important step forward for Airbus to develop a truly global industrial and engineering footprint."