November 4, 2013 - Assembly of MSN5, the fifth
and final member of the A350 XWB flight test
fleet is now underway with the fuselage joining
process. This follows the recent arrival of the
three fuselage sections at the A350 XWB final
assembly line in Toulouse, France.
The Airbus A350 XWB is a family of long-range,
two-engine wide-body jet airliners developed by
European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. The A350
is the first Airbus with both fuselage and wing
structures made primarily of carbon
fiber-reinforced polymer. It can carry 250 to
350 passengers in a typical three-class seating
layout, or maximum seating of 440 to 550
passengers, depending on variant.
The A350 was originally conceived in 2004 as a
largely new design, but with a fuselage based on
the A330. This was rejected by some prospective
customers. In 2006, Airbus redesigned the
aircraft and renamed it the A350 XWB (extra wide
body). Airbus stated that it will be more
fuel-efficient and have operating costs up to 8%
lower than the competing Boeing 787 Dreamliner.