Revolutionary Wing Design Requires Largest Lathe in the World

By: | March 20th, 2014

In February 2014, Airbus received an order for 20 A380-800 super jumbo jets worth $8.3 billion (£5 billion). The company, based in Blagnac, France, has manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, Spain and the UK and produced 1,619 airliners in 2013, employs 63,000 and had $240 billion (£150 billion) in sales in 2013.

The company’s Airbus A380-800 Jumbo Jet aircraft, the world’s larges passenger jet, weighs 420 tons and cost $16 billion (£10 billion) to develop. The jet’s wings require a super large machine tool to provide the design, shape and strength needed for safe and efficient operation.

Inside the wings are all the fuel tanks and a complex fuel system. The wings are built in the UK’s largest factory which employs six thousand people and in 2013 produced four wings per month. In 2014, the plant will produce six wings per month.

Japan’s Shin Nippon Koki Co., Ltd., (SNKC) maker of super large size, machine tools, is responsible for machining the N700 series Shinkansen train parts, Tokyo Sky Tree building materials and Airbus A380-800 parts including its wings. SNKC operates the largest lathe in the world inside a windowless cleanroom factory in order to control and maintain constant temperature and humidity.

The following video shows excerpts from an hour long BBC report on how Airbus wings are manufactured.

Related articles on IndustryTap:

References and related content:

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

More articles from Industry Tap...