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Three Japanese companies will supply equipment and materials for the next generation A380 programme.
Minebea Co. Ltd., Showa Aircraft Co. Ltd. and Komy Co.Ltd. join the group of Japanese manufacturers already on board the A380 programme.
Airbus President and CEO Noel Forgeard said, “We welcome Minebea, Showa Aircraft and Komy to the A380 programme. Their support is important to ensure the most advanced technologies are on board our best selling A380. The additional contribution of Yokohama Rubber is a proof of the strong confidence of our Japanese suppliers in the success of the A380.”
These additions will raise the estimated revenue of Japanese suppliers in the A380 programme to well over US $4.6 billion in the years to come. The three new participants bring to 21 the total of Japanese companies collaborating in the A380.
Showa Aircraft Co. Ltd. will supply Aramid Honeycomb materials to be used in the manufacturing of composite parts for the A380. The core materials, to be produced at Showa’s Akishima Plant (near Tokyo), are currently under qualification at different Airbus plants. This is the first time for Showa Aircraft to work with Airbus.
Yokohama Rubber Corp. will supply new pre-preg materials to be used initially in the production of A380 belly fairing parts. The material is currently undergoing qualification at Airbus’ Getafe plant (Spain). Production will be at Yokohama Rubber’s Hiratsuka plant (Kanagawa Prefecture). Yokohama Rubber is already supplying the A380 water and waste tanks. Delivery of the tanks for the first serial production aircraft happened earlier this month.
Minebea Co. Ltd, who have worked with Airbus since 1982 will supply engineered rod ends, spherical and roller bearings, and rod assemblies used extensively in the A380. Komy Co. Ltd. is the supplier of special mirrors selected as standard equipment for the A380 overhead stowage bins.
To date, 13 customers have announced firm orders and commitments for a total of 139 A380s. The 555-seater A380 will enter into service in early 2006.
Airbus are also to be one of the major exhibitors at Japan Aerospace 2004 (October 6 to 10), with scale models of the A380 taking centre stage.
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