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Panel Loaders for A380
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published October 03, 2005 by SAE International in United States
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The Airbus A380 is among the largest aircraft ever built. The wing panels for the Airbus A380 are massive some being as long as 33M and weighing in excess of 4000kg. Large wing skin panels are inherently difficult to handle and the immense size of the A380 makes handling that much more difficult. The crane and wing assembly crews tasked with building these wings in Broughton UK must install and remove these panels multiple times throughout the build process. The task must be preformed accurately, safely, without damage to the wing structure, and within ever-present flow time pressures. The Airbus engineering team of Alan Ferguson, Allan Ellson, and Jim Rowe challenged Electroimpact to deliver a machine and material handling process to automate the installation and removal of wing panels within in the A380 wing assembly jig. The machine must safely handle these large wing skin panels and ease the panel and stringer assemblies into the tightly constrained socket created by the ribs, spars and stringer clips that make up the wing substructure.