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Airbus Factory Visit

posted 7 Apr 2013, 07:37 by Tyla Grant   [ updated 14 Apr 2013, 14:43 ]
By Cdt Mansouri
Last year 184 Squadron flew around the world in an Airbus A380 on our flight simulator. Airbus, the Aircraft’s manufacturer, not only sponsored us, they offered us an exclusive tour around their factory in Broughton. Airbus makes wings for all their different aircrafts at this site.
Once we arrived we had an interesting presentation on the history of Airbus. 
The most interesting thing for me was finding out how Airbus make their Aircraft more efficient and produce less CO2 emissions. Adding “sharklets” to the wing tips increased efficiency by 5%. In the future with the addition of new engines a 32% increase in efficiency is hoped for.
I also found out that Airbus do a lot of charity work, for example, helping children realise their dreams within aviation and helping in disadvantaged communities. 
However the most exciting part was still yet to come. We had a look around the factory and looked at the different stages of the manufacturing process to create functioning wings. The size and number of bolts in the wings astonished us all; each wing has around 750,000 bolts! 
To top it all off we got the chance to see a Beluga take off to the company’s factory in Hamburg. The Beluga is freight aircraft is used to transport most wings that had been completed. The wings of the aircraft we flew during 'Flight Around the World', the Airbus A380, are so large they are ferried along the River Dee to be transported to France. 
I would say that this was a fantastic trip as we all learnt a lot about the aviation industry as well as how aircrafts are made. This was a rare and unique opportunity us all to participate in and I'm sure it inspired some cadets to become engineers in the near future.