FACC AG recently won a contract with Airbus to provide flap track fairings (wing components made of composite materials) for A330s/A340s, a deal expected to create 100 new jobs and expand the supplier's core competencies in aerostructures. The agreement follows a contract FACC signed last year with Airbus to produce FTFs for A330 and A340-200/-300 aircraft as well as design and procure the necessary tools to manufacture them. The order value, FACC estimates, will amount to $75 million over the next four years and could be worth more as the contract is open-ended.

"We developed 3D CAD/CAM data, which is key for all technology-supported manufacturing steps," FACC Structures VP Robert Machtlinger told Airline Procurement. Some of the steps include laser technology guidance, automated part machining and part inspections. "Our program, from the earliest stages, has been managed concurrently in a design-stress-engineering environment, allowing for an effective system for tool development and production planning," he said.

FACC produces four different sizes of flap track fairings per wing. Some can measure more than 6 m. in length and 0.50 m. in width. In addition to its A330 and A340 models, the company also makes FTFs for A380s.

"We used equipment suppliers who are heavily engaged with the car industry for the design and manufacture of the A330/A340 fairing production tools," explained Machtlinger. "The overall design and manufacturing approach has led to a very lean and efficient production layout that supports the rate requirements from Airbus and enhances quality standards."

On Nov. 4, after delivering an A330-200 flap track fairing, FACC celebrated its alliance with Airbus representatives at its FTF factory in Ort im Innkreis, Austria.

"The signing of this contract to supply all future needed A330/A340 flap track fairings further establishes the successful partnership between Airbus and FACC," Machtlinger added. "FACC can expand its position as a system supplier for Airbus for complex surface structures and once again successfully apply the acquired system expertise."