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Airbus Unveils Cutting-Edge Automated Hangar for A321XLR Advancement



In a significant advancement for its industrial system, Airbus has officially inaugurated a new automated hangar for equipment installation on the A321XLR, located in Hamburg. With this opening, the aerospace manufacturer continues its process of modernizing and digitizing its industrial system, while expanding its capacity to accommodate the increased production of the A320 program to 75 units by 2026.


"The Hamburg site of Airbus plays a significant role in the development and production of the A321XLR. With our new state-of-the-art equipment installation hangar, we are expanding our capacity to manufacture A321 fuselages and making a significant contribution to support our production increase. At the same time, we reaffirm the importance of Hamburg for Airbus," stated André Walter, Head of Commercial Aircraft Production at Airbus in Germany.


Peter Tschentscher, the First Mayor of Hamburg, added that "Hamburg is the central location for the development and production of Airbus' single-aisle aircraft family. With the A321XLR, the new flagship of the A320 Family will be assembled at the Finkenwerder site, setting new standards in sustainability, efficiency, and range. The start of production in the new equipment installation hangar is an important project for Hamburg as the world's third-largest civil aviation center."


Anna Christmann, Coordinator of the German Federal Government for Aerospace Policy, expressed that "this investment in the A321XLR equipment installation hangar at the Airbus site in Hamburg is a significant milestone towards transitioning aviation to carbon neutrality. This transformation is key to making Germany a future-oriented and competitive aerospace location. I am pleased that Airbus positions itself as a leader in sustainable aviation and that we work together to further accelerate progress towards carbon-neutral aviation."


This new equipment installation hangar, spanning 9,600 square meters of production space and designated as H259, will house the installation and assembly of all components of the rear fuselages of the A321XLR aircraft, also built in Hamburg. The hangar is equipped with cutting-edge technologies for operations and manufacturing, including automated logistics, fully digital systems, and test stations that can provide the status of each fuselage section (both in logistics and resources) at any time.


The nearly 24-meter-long fuselage sections are equipped with electrical and mechanical systems, as well as other elements like windows, floor panels, or external antennas, on an automated "pulse line" consisting of eight stations. Each fuselage section undergoes comprehensive testing immediately after the installation of the systems. Subsequently, the fuselage sections are moved to the final assembly line in Hamburg.


The stations in the new hangar were planned in close consultation with employees to create both an efficient production flow and a modern, ergonomically optimized working environment. Additionally, the interior design also focused on ensuring optimal conditions for cooperation between production employees and support functions.


The structure was planned and constructed sustainably. A 3,000-square-meter photovoltaic system on the roof supplies electricity to the hangar, and surpluses are used to power the site. The office block on the southern side offers excellent insulation levels due to the extensive roof and wall insulation. A fully automated control system for heating, ventilation, and lighting complements the measures.


This inauguration is another step in Airbus' commitment to sustainability and efficiency in aviation, reaffirming its role as a leader in the industry.


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