SABCA delivers its 100-th T-Shape for the A380

Oct 2011

Eight years after the delivery of the first Centre Rear Lower Shell (also known as WP1223 or more graphically “T-Shape”, in relation with its shape), for the giant A380 airliner, SABCA proudly delivers this week the 100-th shipset of this element to our customer Airbus.

After an intense pre-design and negotiation phase with Airbus, SABCA had won in 2001 the most important risk-sharing contract of its history, for the development and production of the A380 T-Shape, a large metallic structural assembly that carries the high fuselage loads between the main wheel wells of the aircraft.

The A380 is quite different from all what has been done in the past. Therefore, the design had to start from scratch and everything had to be designed “bigger” than ever before. However, in spite of the very short timeframe available, our development team successfully designed a structure meeting all stringent technical requirements, a new large assembly hall was built at SABCA’s Brussels plant, an efficient supply chain has been put in place, allowing the first T-Shape to be ready in due time for delivery to the the Airbus plant in Saint Nazaire.

The A380 development later suffered quite a few hick-ups, numerous changes and specific versions were implemented, making the life of the program a little more complicated. Nevertheless, discipline and tenacity within the SABCA team were such that the A380 T-Shape has become a well-running and healthy program for the company.

More than 200 aircraft have been ordered at this date and the perspectives for the super-giant appear to be bright. Production rates are increasing and will help optimize our production flow and assembly line.

The A380 T-Shape represents for SABCA a major programme that well illustrates the capabilities of the company in terms of, not only management, engineering and production techniques, but also financing, supply chain management and logistics.

SABCA is a leading Belgian Aerospace company since more than 90 years, employing 1000 highly trained persons. SABCA is active in civil aircraft design and manufacture (Airbus, Dassault, Gulfstream...), military aircraft overhaul and upgrades (F16, Mirage F1, Alphajet, helicopters, etc…) as well as in space programs (Ariane, Vega). These activities cover structural work as well as thrust vectoring systems and systems integration. SABCA has plants in Brussels and Charleroi, and a fully owned subsidiary SABCA Limburg, specialized in aerospace composites.

For more information, write to:

Marketing & Sales Director SABCA

Fax +32 2 729 5896 or

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