By: AirTravellerPH Staff
The Airbus A320 family is perhaps the most popular aircraft in the Philippines. With five airline operating A320s, the Philippines indeed has been recognized by aviators as an Airbus country. Regardless of what airline in the Philippines you fly on, there is a huge chance that you will be on an Airbus A320. We now look into how this popular aircraft is assembled, from parts being flown in to the final assembly line.
Under the A320 family are different variants and these are the common A320, the smaller A319, the longer A321, and the shortest A318 also known as the "Baby Bus". There are also two series, the Current Engine Option (CEO) and the New Engine Option (NEO) series. The NEO series are the ones currently selling now. To spot the difference between each, you may want to refer to this article.
So lets go now to how the A320 aircraft are assembled.
To address the growing requirements of customers and the market, Airbus has placed up factories in Toulouse, Hamburg, Alabama USA, Tianjin China. Toulouse is responsible for A320s; Hamburg for A318s, A319s, and A321s; Alabama for A319s, A320s, and A321s; and Tianjin for A319s and A320s.
The fuselage arrive at the assembly plants at Toulouse and Hamburg via Beluga aircraft, Tianjn and Alabama via container ships. The forward section is built in France and the rest of the fuselage is built in Germany. Once the two sections are joined at station 41, the assembly begins.
From station 41, the fuselage is moved to section 40 or 35 where the wings are assembled to the fuselage. Next are the engine pylons, landing gear, and other main components of the aircraft. Next, the aircraft is moved to a bay where the internal systems like fuel system, hydraulics, other systems, and the cabin are installed and fully tested.
The aircraft then undergoes complete pressure testing, fuel testing, engine installation and testing. It is then painted then will have to undergo final checks before customer delivery and acceptance.
It takes around a total of 8 months to build a single aircraft but Airbus is ramping up production to meet the demands of its customers.