High-tech engineering expertise from a Midlands-based company will help the world's biggest passenger plane take to the skies for the first time tomorrow.
Precision components specialist Doncasters - which employs 1,200 across the region - has been chosen to manufacture brake and wing parts for the giant Airbus A380 superjumbo.
The company is behind lightweight titanium tubing which will form the main part of the aircraft's brake system. The work comes after striking a deal with Dunlop Aerospace, which also has major operations in the Midlands.
Doncasters is also involved in leading-edge wing parts for the Rolls Royce Trent 900 engine and aft pylon fairing.
Weather permitting, the 555-passenger double-decker plane will lift off from Toulouse in southern France.
If all goes well, the plane may fly at the Paris Air Show in June and is scheduled to go into passenger service in summer next year.
Eric J Lewis, chief executive of Doncasters, said: "Securing this important agreement with Dunlop Aerospace is testament to Doncasters' skills and expertise in investment casting techniques.
"Dunlop chose Doncasters' centrifugal technique over the more conventional methods as they were confident it had the edge in terms of surface aspect, properties, grain size and structure, as well as being a cost effective approach.
"The use of titanium in the design of the torque tubes is also a further indication that this material is becoming more mainstream in application as designers become more confident in its usage."
With wings built by Airbus UK at Broughton in North Wales, the A380 is 240ft long, 80ft tall and has a 260ft wingspan.
A six-strong team will take the plane on its first flight. Sharing command will be Airbus's flight division senior vice president Captain Claude Lelaie and chief test pilot Captain Jacques Rosay.
So far, Airbus, in which UK company BAE Systems has a 20 per cent stake, has 154 firm orders from 15 airlines for the £150 million plane.
One of the companies supplying engines for the giant aircraft is Rolls-Royce, which has developed its largest ever engine, the Trent 900.
Among the plane's customers is Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic which put back its order of six A380s to 2008 because of various concerns, not least the slowness of some airports to start work to accommodate the plane.
One of the airports which has been getting on with the necessary alterations is Heathrow which is spending £450 million in terminal airfield modifications and will be able to take the A380 by summer 2006.
Heathrow chiefs have predicted that by 2016 as many as one in eight planes at Heathrow will be A380s.
Sir Richard may put a casino, gym, bar and double beds on his superjumbos. He was one of the airline chiefs who joined Tony Blair, other European leaders and thousands of guests at the first public showing of the plane at Airbus's Toulouse headquarters in January.
With longer versions of the A380 planned, the plane's capacity could soar to more than 800.
Singapore Airlines, which will operate the first scheduled passenger flights, is to begin with a configuration that will seat about 500 people.