|Photo Credit: Airbus Images|
With the placement of the final truss atop the roof this week, the construction of the first building in the Airbus Mobile Assembly Line complex has reached an important milestone. The entire “skeleton” of the building can now be seen.
This building is the Final Assembly Line Hangar, which is where A320 family aircraft will be assembled. The milestone was celebrated with the construction crew and project team members signing the final truss before it was lifted into position.
Construction contracts for the other buildings in the complex will be awarded soon. Aircraft assembly is scheduled to begin in 2015, with first deliveries from the Mobile facility beginning in 2016. Airbus anticipates the facility will produce between 40 and 50 aircraft per year by 2018.
Another milestone I must say, however, if Airbus is to keep up to pace with delivery, they need to ramp up production. Assembly of 40 to 50 aircraft per month as compared to Boeing isn't really competitive, that's about 2.5x to 3x the amount. While quality is imperative, speed shouldn't be undermined.