Airbus Helicopters has expanded its industrial
footprint and partnership with China with the opening of the H135
final assembly line in Qingdao.
The factory is the first
helicopter FAL built by a foreign manufacturer in China, as well
as the first H135 FAL outside of Europe.
The opening of this
FAL follows a cooperation agreement signed between Airbus
Helicopters and China in 2016 for the purchase of 100 H135s
destined for the Chinese market. Ninety-five of these 100
helicopters will be assembled on this FAL from 2019 onwards.
Main components including the main fuselage, main gearbox kits and
rear fuselage will be shipped to Qingdao from Donauw÷rth, Germany
and Albacete, Spain respectively.
The 6,500sqm Qingdao plant is
composed of four working stations, a paint booth, ground and
flight test areas, and a delivery centre. The site will employ
around 40 people, 23 of whom received on-the-job training in
start with an annual capacity of 18 helicopters, which could be
doubled to accommodate future growth.
The first aircraft roll-out from Qingdao is
expected to take place in the second half of 2019.