Airbus - Broughton
Leica T-Probe at Airbus in Broughton, UK

For Airbus Broughton, Leica T-Probe is the “Missing Evolutionary Link” in Tooling

The Airbus site in Broughton near Chester, UK, manufactures every single wing variant in the Airbus product line, including the mother of all flagships, the new A380. Providing work for more than 5,000 people, Airbus is the largest employer in town. Over 100 Leica Geosystems Laser Trackers are used by the 16 production facilities in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, and the Broughton site alone relies on 7 Leica Geosystems Laser Trackers to perform recertification and modification jobs.

The newest addition to their Leica Geosystems Metrology arsenal is the Leica T-Probe, the wireless hand-held “Walk-Around” portable CMM. However, technology aside, it is the Leica Geosystems unparalleled quality of service and support that has made all the difference to day-to-day sustainability of Airbus operations.

Few things arouse as much awe and admiration as flying does. Nothing captures our love affair with airplanes better than the brand-new A380, the largest passenger aircraft ever built. With 73 m [239 ft] in length, a wingspan of 80 m [262 ft] and a height of more than 24 m [80 ft], its sheer size instantly earns both respect and affection. When it goes into service in 2008, the A380 is poised to redefine long-distance air travel as we know it.

The wings on any aircraft are probably the single most complex and crucial element in the entire construction. Not only the number of complex parts going into the assembly of a wing but also the need to maintain unforgivingly tight tolerances of about 0.25 mm (one tenthousandth of an inch) over the entire length of the wing put tremendous requirements on the tooling. The assembly takes place in large jigs that may reach the height of several stories. Individual jigs may have hundreds of tooling points that have to be in perfect alignment with each other . . . . .

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