Airbus Starts Final
Assembly Of First A350 XWB
By Bill Goldston
April 5, 2012 - This first A350 XWB airframe will be
used for the static structural tests that all new
aircraft undergo as part of their certification process.
The assembly of the first flying A350 XWB, MSN1, will
start during summer.
The centre fuselage was delivered to Toulouse on
Wednesday 4th April 2012 by Beluga from Airbus in St
Nazaire, France. The front fuselage was previously
delivered from St Nazaire to the A350 XWB final assembly
line on the 23rd December 2011.
Delivery and installation of the aft fuselage from
Hamburg, Germany will take place in the coming weeks,
followed by the wings delivered from Airbus? wing
assembly site in Broughton, UK.
The A350 XWB fuselage is made up of three main sections
- front, centre and aft. These will be joined together
at the first main assembly station, Station 50. The nose
landing-gear is also joined here. Once this stage is
completed, the fuselage is transferred to Station 40
where the wings and tail sections are joined.
parallel to this, cabin installation will be carried out
simultaneously to the wing-fuselage join up, as well as
the ?power on? of the aircraft systems. In this way,
functional tests can start earlier than on previous
XWB is Airbus? all new family of mid-size wide body airliners.
These highly efficient aircraft bring together the latest in
aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies to provide up to
25 percent better fuel efficiency and operating costs compared
to current aircraft in the same size category.
percent of the A350 XWB?s weight-efficient airframe is made from
advanced materials combining composites (53 percent), titanium
and advanced aluminum alloys. The aircraft?s innovative all-new
Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) fuselage results in lower
fuel burn as well as easier maintenance. The A350 XWB benefits
from Airbus? high level of expertise in incorporating composite
material into its aircraft.
The A350 XWB Family consists of three passenger versions with true long-range capability of flying up to 8,500nm/15,580km. In a typical three-class configuration, the A350-800 will offer 270 seats while the A350-900 and the A350-1000 will offer 314 and 350 seats respectively.
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