The South African company, Aerosud supplies critically important parts for the A350 XWB; the frame clips for the centre fuselage of the aircraft and the track cans for the wings.
- The frame clips are Class 1 structural composite parts and secure the fuselage skin panels to the fuselage structural framework.
- The track cans – there are several on each wing – house the drive mechanisms for the leading edge slats, which are a movable part of the wing.
The frame clips contract is the result of Aerosud’s concentration, over the last 6 years, on developing expertise in composites and, in particular, the manufacturing of parts from continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP), which are lighter than other composites. In this endeavour, Aerosud received support and some funding from the Department of Science and Technology, under the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy. “We now have intellectual property (IP) on composites. Airbus has recognized our uniqueness in this.” (
Selection of composite frame clips currently produced by Aerosud: 1 - Window frame clips, 2 - Single bend clips, 3 - Z-shape clip, 4 - Stabilizer, 5 - Joggled clip
Based on the article “New-generation Airbus incorporates key components made in South Africa” published in Engineering news