With the Airbus A380 jet taking flight in its first commercial service, the chief executive of Airbus Americas will visit Honeywell Aerospace in Tempe on Monday morning to thank employees for the factory’s contribution to the double-decker aircraft.
Barry Eccleston’s visit to the plant will “help celebrate the long partnership we have shared with Honeywell,” said Kristi Tucker, Airbus communications director.
The plant at 1300 W. Warner Road produces a crucial component of the A380: the system that brakes the airplane on landing. Called the electric trust reverser actuation system, it is essential for the aircraft to land safely, said Greg Albert, vice president of Honeywell’s Airbus business segment.
Honeywell is a major supplier of parts for the A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. The Tempe factory also makes valves in the engine starting system, while a Honeywell plant in Deer Valley produces the plane’s flight management system, which includes the weather radar, collision avoidance and ground proximity warning devices, navigation equipment and radio communications.
Other Honeywell plants outside the Valley make other parts.
Also Eccleston will officially award a previously announced $16 billion contract to Honeywell for systems that will be part of the new A350WXB, a smaller next-generation jetliner that will go into service in 2012. The Tempe factory is expected to contribute to it as well.
Eccleston is no stranger to the Valley, having served as vice president and general manager of Honeywell’s Propulsion Systems Enterprise in Phoenix before joining Airbus Americas.
Arizona subcontractors have supplied parts for Airbus planes for years, Tucker said. The European consortium has spent about $1.6 billion since 1990 with Arizona suppliers, including $253 million in 2006, she said. The company does business with 15 suppliers in the state, she said.
Other companies that have Arizona operations contributing to the A380 are Alcoa, Cytec Engineered Materials, Goodrich and Hamilton Standard.
The A380 trust reverser system breaks new technical ground by being the first in the industry to operate electro-mechanically instead of hydraulically, Albert said.