Airbus opens automated A321XLR production facility

Officials at the opening ceremony of the new Airbus production facility.
Photo Credit: Airbus

Airbus is advancing its industrial system and expanding ramp-up capacity with a new automated A321XLR equipping hangar, officially opened yesterday, August 30, at its Hamburg facility.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Hamburg’s First Mayor, Peter Tschentscher, and German Aerospace Coordinator, Anna Christmann.

This state-of-the-art hangar represents a significant stride in Airbus’s journey of modernization and digitalization, fortifying its capacity to accommodate the increased production rates projected for the A320 program, with a target of 75 aircraft by 2026.

The Role of Airbus Hamburg

Airbus’s Hamburg site stands as a pivotal hub for the development and manufacturing of the A321XLR, solidifying its prominence within the aviation industry.

The newly unveiled equipment installation hangar serves as a testament to Airbus’s commitment to fostering innovation and sustainable production practices.


André Walter, Head of Airbus Commercial Aircraft Production in Germany, emphasized the strategic importance of this development, stating,

“With our new, state-of-the-art equipment installation hangar, we are now expanding our capacity to manufacture A321 fuselages and making an important contribution to supporting our ramp up.”

The design philosophy behind the new hangar is rooted in the fusion of production efficiency and environmental sustainability.

Dr. Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of Hamburg, lauded the significance of the A321XLR as a harbinger of sustainability and efficiency, setting new benchmarks in the aviation landscape.

This innovative facility symbolizes the ongoing transformation of aviation towards climate neutrality, a goal that resonates with global efforts to combat climate change and pave the way for a greener future.

Features of the Equipping Hangar

Spanning an impressive 9,600 square meters of production space, designated as H259, the A321XLR equipping hangar is engineered to accommodate the assembly of the rear fuselages of the aircraft.

These fuselages, integral to the A321XLR’s structural integrity, are meticulously installed and mounted within the hangar’s technologically advanced environment.

The hangar boasts a comprehensive suite of cutting-edge technologies, including automated logistics, fully digital systems, and test stations that provide real-time insights into the status of each fuselage section.

One of the hallmarks of the new hangar’s design is its meticulous planning to optimize both production flow and the well-being of the workforce.

The layout and arrangement of workstations were meticulously devised in consultation with employees, ensuring ergonomic efficiency and fostering a modern and collaborative working environment.

This holistic approach not only enhances production efficiency but also nurtures a culture of innovation and teamwork among Airbus’s skilled workforce.

Sustainable Infrastructure

In tandem with Airbus’s commitment to sustainability, the structure of the A321XLR equipping hangar was conceived and executed with eco-consciousness at its core.

A sprawling 3,000 square meter photovoltaic system adorns the hangar’s roof, harnessing solar energy to power its operations while contributing surplus energy back to the facility.

The office block within the premises exemplifies energy efficiency through comprehensive insulation and a state-of-the-art automated control system that regulates heating, ventilation, and lighting.

About the new A321XLR

The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step of the A320neo, in response to market demands for even more range and payload, creating more added value for the airlines.

It will deliver an unprecedented (‘Xtra-long’) range of up to 4,700 nm – 15% more range than the A321LR – and with 30% lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous-generation competitor aircraft, as well as reduced NOx emissions and noise.

For passengers, the A321XLR’s new Airspace cabin will provide the best travel experience, while offering seats in all classes with the same high-comfort as on a long-haul wide-body, with the low costs of a single-aisle aircraft.

The A321XLR currently has nearly 570 orders from 27 customers worldwide. Entry-into-service is planned for the second quarter of 2024.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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