Composite materials in Airbus aircraft have seen
a step-by-step introduction that started with
the A310 which was first rolled-out in February
1982. Benefiting from over 30 years of composite
material experience, 53% of the A350 XWB’s
airframe is made-up of carbon-fibre reinforced
polymer (CFRP) including Airbus’ first carbon.
The Airbus A350 XWB is a long-range, two-engined
wide-body jet airliner. The A350 is the first
Airbus with both fuselage and wing structures
made primarily of carbon fibre-reinforced
polymer. The A350 will carry 250 to 350
passengers in a typical three-class seating
layout, or maximum seating of 440 to 550
passengers, depending on variant.
Airbus reports the A350 will be more
fuel-efficient and have an 8% lower operating
costs than the competing Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The launch customer for the A350 is Qatar
Airways, which ordered 80 aircraft of all three
variants. It is projected that the development
costs will run as high as US$15 billion. The
airliner is scheduled to enter airline service