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The 100th A380 delivery to Emirates is a milestone for Safran Nacelles


November 3, 2017

The delivery of Emirates’ 100th A380 today marks an air transport industry milestone in which Safran Nacelles has played a significant role – supplying the highly capable nacelle systems for this double-deck Airbus jetliner.

Safran Nacelles supplies the nacelles for both powerplant options offered on the four-engine aircraft: Engine Alliance’s GP7200 (produced by a joint venture of GE and Pratt & Whitney), and the Rolls-Royce Trent 900.

Dubai-based Emirates has ordered both turbofan engine types for its large A380 fleet, with the “century” milestone jetliner delivered today outfitted with Trent 900 engines.

The A380 is one of the programs that have made Safran Nacelles a worldwide reference in the development, production, supply and in-service support of jet engine nacelles. Safran Nacelles has built on this success, subsequently taking the lead role on nacelle systems for such aircraft as the A320neo and A330neo jetliners.

Pioneering nacelle technology and production techniques

For the A380, Safran Nacelles achieved an important first: integrating an electrical thrust reverser actuation system (ETRAS) in the nacelle system. This pioneering airline industry application of ETRAS uses electric motors and actuators to replace the more complex hydraulic systems found on traditional thrust reversers.

Advantages of ETRAS include reducing weight, streamlining equipment maintenance, and eliminating the need for corrosive hydraulic fluid.

Safran Nacelles also contributes to the A380’s markedly reduced noise levels on takeoff and landing. Its nacelles incorporate acoustic panels that use two honeycomb sandwich panel stacked in parallel layers to attenuate noise at different frequencies, improving the soundproofing effect.

Innovation extends as well to the industrial side of the A380 program, with the thrust reverser assembled on a stepping assembly line at the company's Le Havre, France facility, which reduces cycle time and improves production efficiency. Integration of the nacelles with their A380 engines is performed at Safran Nacelles’ modern podding facility in Colomiers, France, adjacent to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport and near to Airbus’ A380 final assembly line.

To date, Airbus has delivered more than 215 A380s to 13 operators.