Spirit AeroSystems Secures Airbus A350 XWB Contract; Announces U.S. Expansion
May 14, 2008, Wichita, Kan., (CNW) - Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. today announced it has signed a contract with Airbus to design and produce a major composite fuselage structure for the A350 XWB (Xtra Wide Body) program. Spirit will design and manufacture the Section 15 center fuselage frame section, a composite structure that will be approximately 65 feet long, 20 feet wide and weigh nearly 9,000 pounds.
May 14, 2008 By Carey Fredericks
May 14, 2008, Wichita, Kan., (CNW) – Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. today announced it has signed a contract with Airbus to design and produce a majorcomposite fuselage structure for the A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) program. Spiritwill design and manufacture the Section 15 center fuselage frame section, acomposite structure that will be approximately 65 feet long, 20 feet wide andweigh nearly 9,000 pounds.
"Partnering with Airbus on the A350 XWB is a significant step in our company's history," said Jeff Turner, Spirit President and CEO. "It highlightsour focus on creating long-term value for Spirit shareholders by growing ourcompany with new customers." "Spirit is pleased to be selected as a partner on this exciting newairplane program," said Dan Wheeler, Spirit A350 Program Director. "We'reproud to have won this contract through a global competitive bid process, andwill begin work on the design phase of the program immediately."
To accommodate this and other new work packages, Spirit announced plansto expand its operations with a new facility in Lenoir County, North Carolina,near the city of Kinston. "To meet the demand for new aircraft, Spirit is establishing a design,fabrication and assembly plant in eastern North Carolina," said Turner."Investing in additional facilities at this time assures we will becompetitive and will be able to retain our position as a top Tier 1 supplierto Airbus and other aerospace companies around the world." Spirit and the State of North Carolina have reached an agreement to beginimplementation of a multi-phased project to create a Composites ManufacturingCenter for aircraft parts and assemblies in North Carolina.
A new facilitywill be constructed in North Carolina's Global TransPark to accommodate newwork packages, and will house both design and build processes. It will initially employ 500 people, with plans to grow employment to 1,000 when allfive phases are fully implemented. The project was facilitated by a package ofstate and local incentives. "The State of North Carolina met our requirements for financialincentives, a strong industrial base, and expanded labor force requirements,"added Turner.
Construction of the new facility in North Carolina will begin later this year, with operations expected to commence in 2010. Portions of work on theA350 XWB are also planned to be performed at Spirit Wichita and at the newSpirit Malaysia facility, which is expected to be operational in 2009. A presentation highlighting various aspects of this announcement will beposted to the Investor Relations section of Spirit's external website latertoday.