At the Paris Air Show in May '69, representatives of France and Germany signed a landmark agreement that marked the birth of Airbus. The dominance of the American commercial aircraft manufacturers came to an end.
These signatures - from the French Minister of Transport and the German Minister of Economic Affairs '69 - were the prelude to the development of the Airbus A300, the world's first twin-engine wide-body aircraft. The aim was to build a commercial aircraft that was smaller, lighter and more economical than its American competitors. From then on, the development of the aviation industry took off and the aircraft as a means of transport was made accessible to more people all over the world.
The first flight of the A300 took place in 1972 in Toulouse and lasted 1 hour and 23 minutes. Although the first flight was successful, Airbus was now faced with another challenge: to convince the airlines of the "most economical, innovative and comfortable aircraft in the world". The solution was to send the A300 on a 6-week odyssey through America and introduce it to customers, pilots and executives. The breakthrough came with a major order from an US airline.
The goal was the most economical commercial aircraft in the world. So, the A300B soon followed. It had a smaller diameter and a shorter overall length than the A300 and was therefore 25 tonnes lighter than the first planned A300. The economic efficiency of the aircraft was the key to success. For this reason, the cabin floor was raised to increase cargo space and increase the profitability of a single flight through more cargo. In addition, new wings were developed to increase lift and bring the passenger aircraft faster to the final travel height. This in turn gave the cabin crew more time for in-flight service.
For Roger Béteille, then Managing Director at Airbus, the focus was always on the customer and his needs and he spent a lot of time talking to airlines. He also made the decision that English should be the working language at Airbus and that units of measurement should not be metric as most airlines were already using American aircraft.
Together with Felix Kracht, also Managing Director, the vision was developed to create an aircraft family that covers all sectors of passenger aviation through different aircraft sizes in order to be successful. The beginning of a success story.
Today, Airbus is a leader in the development, manufacture and supply of aerospace products, services and solutions for a global customer base that includes commercial aircraft, helicopters, defence and space activities.
Germany played a key role in the founding of the company and some of the largest and most important Airbus sites are located in Germany. More than 46,000 people are employed at more than 27 locations - almost half of all employees in the German aerospace industry. In civil aviation alone, more than 28,000 people are employed in Germany. Airbus is also a driver for the regional economy within Germany and cooperates with more than 10,000 external German suppliers.
ARTS is a long-standing partner of Airbus. With our engineering and manufacturing services, our range of technology consulting and HR services, we support Airbus not only in Germany, but also internationally - for example in France, Spain and Great Britain.
Until now, ARTS employees have taken over numerous activities in the area of manufacturing engineering, for example in the preparation of work plans, production planning, work preparation and production planning. In production itself, our colleagues take responsibility for individual processes and were involved in the installation of emergency equipment for the A300, A310 and A330 aircraft types.
Major projects in production logistics included setting up a tool shop at Airbus in Toulouse and St. Nazaire in France. In Bordeaux, another French Airbus location, ARTS created an own material management logistics system for the Airbus A350 wing section.
Through industry-specific process know-how, ARTS gives Airbus a sustainable competitive advantage in the long term. An example of this is the introduction of the SPC process for A330 structural assembly in Hamburg.
For almost 20 years, Airbus has relied on the HR expertise of ARTS. Numerous ARTS employees are deployed at various European locations by means of temporary employment. For example, our engineers work on work planning for the A380 and A350 production lines. "As a work planner for the new and series production of the A350, my colleagues and I prepare the work on the aircraft. The first conversion of a test aircraft into a customer machine is exciting and requires a fast and flexible way of working. The cooperation with ARTS runs smoothly because I have a technical contact person for every question who is happy to help me," says Oliver Oelze, in the Manufacturing Engineering Team for Line and Shopfloor Support at Airbus in Toulouse.
In addition to technical specialists, Airbus also employs numerous commercial ARTS experts, e.g. project managers, specialists in demand and supplier management or technical buyers. We can count on the close solidarity of our employees when it comes to temporary employment. Colleagues such as Benjamin Kapahnke, structural mechanic at ARTS for more than 10 years and in the Airbus world throughout Europe, or Gunnar Zawistowski, responsible for European research projects for more than 6 years at ARTS and in the Airbus Finance Team at the Centre for Applied Aviation Research (ZAL), are just two examples.
ARTS also assumes responsibility in cooperation with partners such as Sabena Technics. For example, we support the MRO company in the maintenance of the Airbus Beluga and Beluga XL aircraft types. Another cooperation exists with Elbe Flugzeugwerke in Dresden, which regularly performs maintenance tasks on Airbus aircraft in its hangar. One joint project was the Door Modification of the Airbus A380.
We look forward to numerous further projects with Airbus and our cooperation partners and wish Europe's No. 1 aircraft manufacturer all the best for the future.