Ever since it was formed as a multi-national consortium four decades ago, Airbus has followed a straightforward model for building civil aircraft. Complete sections are fabricated in factories around Europe, then shipped to Toulouse or Hamburg, where they are joined together. So when the European airframer decided to set up its first final assembly line outside of Europe, it was a relatively easy step. In a sense, the story began in 1986 when Airbus sent its first contract to Avic's ...


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