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Parts transfer: Airbus wants to boost A320 production with new ships

Parts transfer: Airbus wants to boost A320 production with new ships

The aircraft manufacturer orders new ships to transport parts between Europe and the USA. Wind-assisted propulsion aims to reduce emissions. Production of the A320 Neo should also benefit.

Airbus moves aircraft parts back and forth between individual production sites using, among other things, the Beluga XL. But this is not enough. Charter ships also carry spare parts for a European aircraft manufacturer.

However, a lot is expected to change in the future. “Airbus will replace the entire fleet of charter vessels transporting aircraft assemblies between production facilities in Europe and the United States with three modern, low-emission vessels. Roll-on/roll-on ships On Wednesday (October 25), the company announced a wind-assisted drive.

Six Flettner rotors

Airbus plans to gradually replenish the charter ships that carry its aircraft assemblies across the Atlantic Ocean between Saint-Nazaire, France, and the final single-aisle aircraft assembly line in Mobile, Alabama.

“The new vessels are powered by a combination of six Flettner rotors – large, rotating cylinders that use wind to generate lift and propel the ship forward – and two dual-fuel engines running on marine diesel oil and e-methanol,” the company explains. In addition, the guidance software used optimizes the ships’ transatlantic journey, maximizing wind thrust, and avoiding air resistance caused by adverse conditions.

Boost A320 production

“The fleet renewal also supports Airbus’s goal of increasing the A320 family’s production rate to 75 aircraft per month by 2026,” the company said. Each new transatlantic ship will have the capacity to carry approximately seventy 40-foot containers and six single-aisle aircraft subassemblies—wings, fuselage, engine pylons, elevators and vertical stabilizers. On current ships there are only three to four sets.

This is what a ship equipped with Flettner rotors looks like in action: