Eurocopter’s collaboration with Airbus has taken a new twist with the signing of a 1.5 billion euro contract at the Eurocopter facility in Donauwörth.

The helicopter manufacturer has been chosen to develop and manufacture the door systems for the most recent member of the Airbus fleet, the A350XWB.

By assuming responsibility for the development and manufacture of all A350 XWB doors, Eurocopter has reached another milestone in its efforts to be recognized as a fully-fledged systems provider. “This A350 XWB contract with Airbus, which gives us the go-ahead for the production phase, is of decisive importance to the future sustainability of our manufacturing site in Germany,” declared Lutz Bertling, President and CEO of the Eurocopter Group.

“It confirms our position as an experienced and highly skilled manufacturer of aircraft components, rather than merely as a leader in the helicopter business,” he added. “It also confirms that our Center of Excellence for Airplane Door Systems is on the right track by shifting its focus from traditional metal structures to new manufacturing technologies based on composite materials.“

More than 150 Eurocopter engineers have been involved in the conceptual design, development and pre-production phases of this project since it was launched in 1997.

Once series production starts, it will secure up to 500 jobs in Donauwörth and the surrounding region. Delivery of the first door systems is scheduled for the end of 2010, initially for testing.

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