North East Wales

Prince Charles visits Airbus factory in Broughton

Prince Charles
Image caption Prince Charles shook hands with some of the 6,000 employees at Airbus

The Prince of Wales has visited the Airbus factory at Broughton, Flintshire, to mark its 75th anniversary.

Prince Charles is touring the site's north factory before opening a new visitor centre.

More than 6,000 people work at the complex, assembling 1,000 wings a year for the Airbus range.

The site began as a heavy bomber production line during World War Two making Wellingtons and Lancasters.

After producing some 5,786 military aircraft for the war effort, production shifted to more than 11,000 pre-fabricated houses in the post-war years.

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Media captionArchive footage of wartime bombers being assembled in 30 hours in 1943

Aircraft manufacturer de Havilland took over the site in 1948 with the range of planes produced there including Vampires, Venoms, Mosquitos, Hornets and Sea Vixens.

The factory also assembled later versions of the first jet airliner, the Comet.

The first wings for commercial airliners were produced at the site from the early 1970s.

Head of the Broughton plant Paul McKinlay said: "We are honoured to welcome the Prince of Wales to Broughton for this significant milestone in the history of our plant.

"The site has changed considerably in the three quarters of a century since the first factory opened, and we have benefitted from around £1.9 billion of investment in new facilities and equipment since we became part of the Airbus company in 2001.

"Mosquitoes, Doves, Wellingtons and Comets have emerged from this factory over the years, and today we play a part in developing the most technologically advanced civil airliners in the world. Airbus is vital to the continued success of the aerospace industry and this in turn benefits the region and the whole country."

Image copyright PA
Image caption On one of the wing making floors at the massive Broughton site
Image copyright PA
Image caption Airbus prides itself on its apprentice scheme - and Prince Charles got to meet some of the latest recruits
Image copyright PA
Image caption Just how big are Airbus wings? Prince Charles got the chance to find out
Image copyright Airbus
Image caption Wartime bombers on the production line
Image copyright Airbus
Image caption The Broughton factory is just a stones throw from Chester - which sometimes meant scenes in the city like this
Image copyright Airbus
Image caption One of the early jetliners at Broughton
Image copyright Airbus
Image caption Wing sections made in Wales being loaded on to a plane

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