The first four fully assembled Airbus A330 ailerons from Al Ain-based aerostructure manufacturer Strata have been successfully delivered to Airbus' facility in Bremen, Germany.
PICTURED: Badr Al Olama, CEO of Strata (center), with senior managers from Strata and Airbus during celebration at Airbus’ Bremen, Germany facility
Senior representatives from the Mubadala subsidiary were in Bremen to celebrate the occasion. This delivery marks a significant turning point in Strata’s relationship with Airbus SAS, elevating the company to a ‘tier-one’ or direct supplier to Airbus for A330 assembled ailerons. It is also an important step for Strata towards becoming a competitive and reliable supplier to the OEMs for primary structures of increasing complexity.
Designed to control roll and facilitate turning, the new critical wing structures will be mounted onto an A330 aircraft scheduled for delivery to Etihad Airways, in May.
Badr Al Olama, Strata’s CEO said: “Our commitment and our growing partnership with Airbus is an accomplishment for Strata and Abu Dhabi. Strata’s dedication to continuous improvement has been reaffirmed by our ability to manufacture complex and technologically advanced primary parts, and this further enhances our credibility in the industry, positioning us as a key contender on the next generation of aircraft. Our first package of Airbus ailerons being installed onto a new Etihad Airways aircraft makes this a particularly proud moment both for Strata and our nation, showcasing the UAE’s growing role in the global aerospace industry.”
As Etihad Airways prepares to celebrate its tenth anniversary, the installation of the ailerons marks another first for the airline, whereby one of its aircraft will now operate with primary components manufactured within the UAE.
This was welcomed by James Hogan, Etihad’s president and CEO. “Today is a tremendously proud occasion, and we are delighted to see key parts for our aircraft now being manufactured in the UAE. The UAE, and the emirate of Abu Dhabi in particular, are fast becoming an aviation manufacturing and maintenance centre of excellence, and as the national carrier, in the years ahead, we look forward to further demonstrating and promoting UAE technological and engineering achievements on our fleet and across our network,” he said.
In 2010, just months after completion of its facility, Strata began supplying Airbus with aileron panels and flap-track fairings and has been steadily building its capabilities to deliver more technically complex packages to its partners.
Volker Thum, head of the Airbus plant in Bremen, said: “Aviation is a global business, and it brings together the very best each country has to offer. For the development and production of the world's leading aircraft, we require strong and capable partners, like Strata, who can deliver on this global scale. We anticipate that parts manufactured in the UAE will be set features on Airbus aircraft. I am very proud to celebrate this occasion with our partners at Strata today."
All A330 aircraft require four ailerons; an inboard and outboard aileron mounted onto each wing. Each aileron measures five metres in length, weighs approximately 85 kilograms and is manufactured and assembled by specialized technicians using over 400 parts.
Last year, Strata sent a group of sixteen technicians to Nantes, France for a five-month intensive training program, while a second group of technicians have recently returned from Nantes to implement the skills they acquired throughout their training. The aileron panels are already being manufactured at Strata with a skilled team of technicians including Emirati women from Strata’s successful apprenticeship schemes.
This success with Airbus comes just one month after Strata delivered its first ATR Vertical Fin to the Italian aerospace company, Alenia Aermacchi. This progression puts Strata in a favorable position to achieve its ambition of designing and manufacturing entire wing and empennage structures in the future.