Hewitt praises British firms behind Airbus A380

Trade and Industry Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, has praised the four hundred British manufacturing firms who helped to deliver the world's biggest civil aircraft, which has been unveiled in France.

The building of the Airbus A380 was the largest civil aviation project in the world. It helped to create and secure jobs for around 21,000 highly skilled UK workers and Airbus activity will also indirectly support another 41,000 British jobs.

Ms Hewitt described the A380 as a "British and European triumph" and said that the success was helped by "400 great British firms". The Minister said that their workers would "reap the rewards" for their work in delivering the world's biggest civil aircraft.

Some of the companies who worked on the project included Rolls Royce in Derby, who developed the Trent 900 engines for the aircraft, Coventry's Dunlop Aerospace, who worked on the wheels and the brake systems, Goodrich Actuation Systems in Wolverhampton, who designed and manufactured the aircraft's flight control systems and Filton's Airbus UK, who created the wings.

The UK government has invested £530 million in launch development and the design and development of the wings for the Airbus A380. It also committed £250 million to Rolls Royce to help the company develop the A380's Trent 900 engines.

Industry Minister, Jacqui Smith, described the Airbus A380 as a "visionary project" and said that, with nearly 150 orders already on the books, the Airbus A380 was "already a manufacturing success story". She added: "The workers in the firms that have put this together are rightly proud of their achievement. They are clear evidence that UK modern hi-tech manufacturing is still a world beater."


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