Today in Toulouse Leonardo-Finmeccanica and Airbus have agreed to the commercial conditions regarding the production of the front fuselage, section 14A, for the new ACF (aircraft cabin flex) configuration of Airbus A321 aircraft.
Starting in 2018 at its Nola site (near Naples), Leonardo will produce the aero-structure of this new configuration of Airbus A321, the twin-engine single-aisle aircraft capable of carrying 185 passengers in the typical two-class configuration or up to 220 persons in the economy version.
The collaboration with Airbus on the A321 programme dates back to 1991 when the agreement was signed for the design and production of the front section of the aircraft’s fuselage, which is shipped from Leonardo’s Nola site to Airbus’s site in St. Nazaire, France, where assembly takes place.
Activity at the Nola site began in 1995 with the manufacture of aero-structures for several programmes including with international partners such as Airbus. It employs around 850 highly skilled personnel. The site produces machined parts, manufactures sheet metals, and carries out the assembly of panels with a high level of industrial integration and automation. The Nola site was in fact originally established to produce high quality, highly competitive aero-structures. The site uses “computerized integrated manufacturing” with control of the production process mainly managed by a single computerized system with highly integrated components. Nola manufactures components for the main international aeronautics programmes such as Eurofighter Typhoon and the Airbus A380 (the giant of the skies).