News article: Renishaw on high with Airbus A380 Superjumbo - all files (zip)

By virtually every measure of comparison, the new Airbus A380 Superjumbo, now under final construction in Europe, is the largest commercial aircraft in the world. Able to accommodate 555 passengers, and with a wingspan in excess of 260 feet, building the giant double-decker calls for some highly-innovative assembly techniques. One such technique is the use of several wing-panel assembly machines that depend upon Renishaw’s RG4 linear encoder systems for positioning accuracy. The four machines incorporate over 1 km of 40 micron scale tape, to determine the precise position of travelling ‘yokes’. These massive four-storey-high, 80 tonne structures straddle each skin panel in order to drill, tap and rivet stringers along the entire span.