A350XWB: production well started
Production of Airbus' newest airliner has started paving the way for a new ultra-efficient family of long-range twin aisle aircraft.
Over 70% of the A350 XWB weight-efficient airframe is made from advanced materials with 53% Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFPR), titanium and new generation aluminium alloys resulting in lower fuel burn and reduced maintenance costs.
Many large components have already been produced.
The first CFRP wing covers were produced last August in Stade (Germany) and Illescas (Spain). At almost 32 metres in length by 6 metres wide these are the largest single pieces of CFRP ever produced by Airbus.
Q3 2010 saw the first keel beam production start and assembly of the first centre wing box start, both equally made from carbon fibre composite, in Nantes (France).
A350 XWB fuselage construction uses an exclusive CFRP panel system and several large panels have already been produced. Starting with the first forward section upper panel produced by Premium Aerotec in Nordenham in September 2010 followed in November by the first centre section upper shell built by Spirit in Kinston (North Carolina, USA) for example.
One notable exception to the panel concept is section 19, a 5.5 metre long conical CFRP full-barrel, the tail section of the aircraft.
Meanwhile, electrical and hydraulic systems integration testing was initiated last December with the official "power & pressure-on" of the A350 XWB full scale test bench known as the "Iron Bird" in Toulouse.
2011 holds many promises. The Trent XWB engine will take to the air for its flight test programme, fitted to the wing of an A380 and, of course, we will start the final assembly of the first aircraft before the end of the year.
With production firmly started the A350 XWB stays on track for entry-into-service in the second half of 2013.
For more information, you can contact:
A350 XWB Marketing Director