Ascent Aerospace to build Airbus A330neo assembly lines

Posted on 2 Jun 2015 by Michael Cruickshank

US-owned airline production and retrofitting company Ascent Aerospace has announced last week that it has won a critical bid from Airbus.

Ascent Aerospace, (Santa Ana, CA, US) has been awarded a contract by Airbus (Toulouse, France) to retrofit the Airbus Broughton (Wales, UK) A330 wing assembly lines to the new A330neo configuration.

The company’s Ascent European Integration division has been awarded the contract to build an assembly line retrofitting Airbus A330 aircraft for its Airbus Broughton (Wales) facility.

Ascent’s planned assembly line upgrade will reconfigure the Broughton facility to the production of Airbus’s new A330neo design.

This new medium-haul aircraft is the next evolution of the popular A330 design, and features a longer wing space and so-called winglets in order to make it the most efficient craft in its category currently on the market.

Within this contract, Ascent Integration will have responsibility for the design, integration, build and installation of the equipment and tooling to assemble the new A330neo wing.

Ascent European Integration was only a recent acquisition by AIP Aerospace, Ascent Aerospace’s holding company.

“Although our Ascent Integration European operation was only recently acquired, the team continues to perform at a high level and has firmly established itself over the years as a valued partner to Airbus,” explained Brian Williams, CEO of Ascent Aerospace.

Several other Ascent divisions will provide support for this operation, including Ascent Engineering, as well as Global Tooling Systems. In addition, they plan to work with several local subcontractors in order ensure the project runs smoothly.

“With this A330neo project, we are pleased to be able to incorporate some of our tooling capabilities into the system solution. It is a key facet of our strategic plan to have our Ascent Integration and Tooling Groups working seamlessly together on large, complex projects,” remarked Williams on this collaboration.

While the project is large, it is made more difficult by the fact that the assembly line refit will occur while the existing Airbus wing lines continue the production of the current A330 configuration.

The value of the contract has not been released.

Ascent Aerospace has announced the appointment of Mark Davis as Head of UK Programs and Operations. In this new function, Mark will oversee the operations and customer service functions, including aftermarket sales, in the recently established Ascent Aerospace UK office, located in Broughton, England.