Michelin OEM on Latest Airbus
Production of the wide-body Airbus A350 XWB began in August 2010 and the European aircraft manufacturer reports having already received more than 570 firm orders for the new jet from 35 customers. The first delivery is scheduled for 2013, and when the airliners are handed over to their proud new owners each and every one of them will be fitted with Michelin rubber; the French tyre maker states it has been selected to develop and supply tyres for the A350 XWB’s landing gear.
According to Michelin, Airbus reached the above decision following a rigorous selection process that recognised the properties of the tyre maker’s ‘NZG’ technology tyres and the quality of its organisation. To satisfy the demands of Airbus and the two companies’ common customers, Michelin had to respond to a number of challenges, including fast time to market, maturity at first test flight, lower aircraft operating costs and a smaller environmental footprint.
The most effective way to meet customer priorities, Michelin believes, is through innovation. The French manufacturer states that its “unprecedented research & development programme” and “capacity for innovation” enables aircraft operators today to benefit from its NZG technology. Tyres manufactured using NZG are said to weigh around 20 per cent less than those produced with conventional technology; thus, Michelin reports its Air X NZG tyres will help make the Airbus A350 XWB more fuel efficient while reducing its environmental impact. In addition to reducing the weight of the wide-body airliner, Michelin says the Air X NZG tyres also exhibit superior robustness in operation.
Supply to the A350 XWB is the latest in a long line of Airbus fitments. Michelin has been an Airbus supplier since 1983, and the tyre maker says it is “proud to equip all Airbus civil aircraft, from the A300 to the A380.”