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Airbus in Spain


Assembly of the initial A350 XWB horizontal tailplane at Airbus’ Getafe, Spain facilities
Assembly of the initial A350 XWB horizontal tailplane at Airbus’ Getafe, Spain facilities

Getafe, Puerto Real and Illescas are responsible for the manufacture of the horizontal tail plane for all Airbus aircraft. The use of innovative manufacturing technologies – such as fibre placement, automatic tape laying and resin transfer moulding – at each of these sites has helped make Airbus an industry leader in the development and use of composite materials. 

More than 2,000 people are employed in a range of activities at the Airbus site in Getafe, including the final assembly, equipping and testing of the horizontal tail planes for the A320 Family, the A330/A340 and A350 XWB. 

The A380 has led to a significant increase in Spain’s share of the industrial workload on Airbus aircraft. The 525-seat double-decker’s huge horizontal tail plane was designed by engineers in Getafe and undergoes its initial assembly there. Getafe also is responsible for this section’s lateral boxes, along with the A380’s main landing gear doors, dorsal fin, the rear fuselage portion where the horizontal and vertical tail planes are joined; and fuselage tail cone. 

The role of Puerto Real

Getafe shares responsibility for the A380 horizontal tail plane with the Airbus site in Puerto Real, which performs its final assembly and testing. These activities include fuel testing, assembly of the rudder, elevators, and belly fairing, and the delivery of the complete horizontal tail plane and belly fairing to France for final assembly with the aircraft. 

The some 500 employees at Puerto Real also focus on structural assemblies of lifting surfaces in carbon fibre and metallic materials, as well as in passenger doors, main landing gear doors and fuselage panels for all Airbus aircraft. 

Spotlight on Illescas

Some of the most innovative technologies in the world are utilised in Illescas at Airbus’ Advanced Composites Centre, which manufactures horizontal tail plane and other aircraft parts constructed of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). Thirty kilometres from Madrid and home to 500 employees, Illescas specialises in automated production processes for advanced composite materials and in the manufacturing of large lifting surfaces. The site is equipped with the most advanced systems and processes for the design, manufacturing, inspection and repair of all types of composite material structures. 

In addition, parts for the A380 horizontal tail plane are manufactured at Illescas before being initially assembled at Getafe. 


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