2013-01-16 During our visit to the Light and Medium transport line in Seville in September 2012, one of the planes seen on the line was an Egyptian C-295.
SLD: What about the Egyptian planes?
Armas: We have currently contracted for six C-295s with Egypt. We have delivered three and anticipate sending the 4th and 5th ones this year. We will send the 6th next year.
The interview focused in part in the evolution of the manufacturing approach which was embodied in the Egyptian plane seen on the line.
SLD: The last time we were here, the new approach to lean production was being started. How has it gone and with what impacts?
Armas: The approach has been a culture change, not only in terms of management working with blue-collar workers, but engineers working with blue-collar workers. The entire approach rests on significant improvements in communication so that problems get identified earlier and dealt with more effectively.
Not only do the industrialization issues become much clearer to deal with but clients see the process as well. Last week we had a core customer here and they could see what was happening with regard to a production issue posted on the walls of the assembly line. It is a VERY transparent process.
But it means that we don’t have to wait until the end of the process to change customer requirements but can build in a way to do this as we are producing the plane.
Apparently, the Egyptians are satisfied customers because according to a recent Airbus Military release, the Egyptians have ordered additional planes:
Airbus Military has received an order for six additional C295 transport aircraft from the Egyptian Air Force, bringing the Egyptian Air Force’s C295 fleet to a total of 12 aircraft. This third batch of aircraft plus the associated spares and support equipment, training and field support are to be delivered from the end of 2013 onwards.
The Egyptian Air Force selected the C295 because of its proven versatility, robustness and efficiency for its daily transport missions combined with the ease of maintenance and low cost of operations.
This order reinforces the C295’s position as the best-selling airlifter in this category, with a total of 121 C295s sold to 17 operators. Seven of them have placed repeat orders for C295 aircraft, confirming the trust our customers place in the aircraft for medium airlift. With more than 90 aircraft in service today in 15 countries, the C295 has accumulated more than 120,000 flying hours in the most demanding conditions, from extreme cold weather to hot desert areas.
Planes viewed on the Airbus Military final assembly lines in September 2012 can be seen below:
Credit Photos: Airbus Military
- In the first two pictures, A400Ms in the final leg of their journey in Seville are pictured. Three of the aircraft to be delivered next year where in the facility: 2 for France and 1 for Turkey. The engines have been removed from the planes and set to the manufacturer who is making repairs associated with the gear box. The engines will return and be mated with the planes, which will have undergone some modifications with the newly mated engines.
- The remaining photos are of the light and medium assembly line. During the date of the visit (September 28, 2012), there were planes being built for Vietnam, France, Kazakhstan and Egypt. The Vietnamese planes were being final assembled from major sections provided by Indonesia. Indonesia is a key partner of Airbus Military and a legacy partner of CASA.