Rome 19 March 2018 15:49
- In 2016 Leonardo and Airbus signed an agreement for the production of the front fuselage, section 14A, for the new LR (Long Range) configuration of Airbus A321 aircraft
- Leonardo’s Nola plant will significantly support the production ramp-up necessary to cope with A321 strong market demand
A delivery ceremony for the first Airbus A321 LR fuselage section took place in the last days at Leonardo Aircraft Division’s site located at Nola near Naples.
The A321LR features a new door configuration, enabling its operators to accommodate up to 240 passengers in Airbus’ widest single aisle fuselage in the sky. The new ‘Airspace’ by Airbus cabin available on the A320 Family additionally enhances the passengers’ unrivalled travel experience. With further options, combining an increased maximum take off Weight (MTOW) of 97 tonnes and a third additional centre fuel tank (ACT), the aircraft’s range extends to 4,000nm (7,400 km), allowing airlines to tap into new long range market opportunities.
Leonardo collaboration with Airbus on the A321 programme dates back to 1991 when an agreement was signed for the design and production of the front section of the aircraft’s fuselage. Aircraft sections made at Leonardo’s Nola site are shipped to Airbus’s site in St. Nazaire, France, where fuselage sub-assembly takes place.
Activity at the Nola site began in 1995 with the manufacture of aero-structures for several international aircraft programmes, including Airbus. Leonardo employs around 1,000 highly skilled personnel at Nola which produces machined and sheet metal parts and carries out the assembly of advanced aero-structures with a high level of industrial integration and automation. The site uses “computerized integrated manufacturing” with control of the production process mainly managed by a single computerized system. The Nola plant also manufactures components and aero-structures for several major international aeronautics programmes including the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Airbus A380 (the giant of the skies).