SOURCE:Flight International
Honeywell wins Airbus A350 XWB systems contract

Honeywell has won the first contract to supply systems for the A350 XWB, under Airbus's new procurement strategy to outsource larger work packages to a smaller number of major suppliers.

The US company will supply the auxiliary power unit and air management system for the new widebody. Honeywell was previously selected to supply the APU for the original A350, but the work package was expanded and recompeted for the XWB.

In addition to the APU and installation kit, Honeywell will supply its starter/generator and the environmental control, cabin pressurisation, supplemental cooling, bleed air and wing anti-ice systems, says Garrett Mikita, president, air transport and regional.

The new competition covered a wider range of A350 models, and Mikita attributes Honeywell's win to its ability to meet the requirement of the entire family, including the significantly larger -1000, with a single APU, the 1,700shp (1,270kW) HTG1700.

"We were able to do technology and performance trades across the total air system and optimise the interplay between environmental control and auxiliary power," he says, adding this reduced weight by 200kg and cost by 10% versus separate systems.

Mikita says Airbus is using a new "spiral" procurement process on the A350, working separately with several suppliers to reach cost and risk targets then inviting bids from the finalists - Honeywell and Liebherr in the case of the air system.

Honeywell is among companies still working with Airbus to define the A350 avionics, with a decision expected by year-end. The company's proposal is based on commonality with systems it already supplies for the A380, Mikita says.

The HGT1700 is a development of Honeywell's 331 family, with 10% greater power density. "We are refining technologies proven on previous aircraft," says Greg Albert, Airbus segment vice-president. "Early maturity in is key for Airbus".

Previous-generation APUs use separate DC starter motors and AC generators, Albert says, but the A3550 will have a combined starter/generator. "That allows us a lot more control of starting the APU, which is good for long-term life."

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