Aerospace plant still flying high

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The Burnley Aircelle plant celebrated the handover of the first Thrust Reverser for the A330neo programme.

The last two years have been a time of great change at Aircelle, now called Safran Nacelles, where its portfolio of long standing contracts has ramped down.

However, the team at Bancroft Road has been developing new products for the next generation of large civil aircraft.

The project has involved significant capital investment in a new clean room, substantial tooling for new product lines and new skills for the workforce which continues to be supplemented by an annual apprentice intake.

The Burnley plant has been strongly supported by the UK Government in this product development process through the Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chain Initiative and by its training partner Burnley College through their apprenticeship schemes.

The first development hardware was shipped to Rolls Royce, Mississippi, USA, in September for endurance testing of the Nacelle with the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine.

This milestone was achieved collectively with SAFRAN Nacelles’ other sites in France and Morocco.

Chris Plumb, managing director, said: “It is a particularly poignant moment for me.

“Over the last two years we have been reshaping the business for the future and throughout that process I have consistently reinforced the importance of the new Airbus programmes for the future of SAFRAN Nacelles here in Burnley. Together with A320neo, this first customer delivery of an A330neo is a strong sign that we are in a new phase.”