Airbus Sees $1 Million Ohio Investment as Step in U.S. Expansion

Airbus SAS (EAD)’s $1 million investment in Ohio for research into nano-materials and carbon fibers builds on the European planemaker’s effort to expand in the U.S., the company’s North America chairman said.

“It’s no secret we’re trying to get more and more sourcing out of the U.S.,” Allan McArtor said today by telephone from Airbus Americas headquarters in Herndon, Virginia. “With the dollar-euro exchange rate and innovation and aerospace leadership in the U.S., our supply base will grow in America.”

Airbus’s initial Ohio investment will be “seed money” for six companies to “help develop nanotechnologies for carbon- fiber structure materials,” he said. Spending may grow as technologies are adopted for commercial use, he said.

Funding will go to the companies and the Dayton-based National Composite Center over five years for technologies for future planes, McArtor said. He said Toulouse, France-based Airbus spends about $10 billion annually on U.S. suppliers and is seeking to double that over the next 10 to 15 years.

The Ohio companies receiving research funds are Angstron Materials Inc. of Dayton; GrafTech International Ltd. (GTI) of Parma; NanoSperse of Kettering; Renegade Materials Corp. of Miamisburg; University of Dayton Research Institute; and Zyvex Technologies of Columbus, McArtor said.

Future composite materials for use in aviation will be fashioned without being cooked in huge autoclaves, as they are now, saving costs and time, McArtor said.

McArtor said he would “dearly love” to have a final- assembly line in the U.S., though there are no such plans in place at the moment. Airbus now has final-assembly facilities in Toulouse, Hamburg, and Tianjin, China.

Airbus is the world’s largest commercial planemaker, and is a unit of Paris- and Munich-based European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Rothman in Paris at aerothman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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