Airbus (Toulouse, France) reported on Dec. 9 that it has started joining the first 21m/69-ft long front fuselage section for the composites-intensive A350 XWB in Saint-Nazaire, France.
This phase will continue over the coming weeks, and once completed, the front fuselage will be transported by Beluga to the A350 XWB Final Assembly Line in Toulouse. It will be the first major section of the A350 XWB to enter the final assembly line. The front fuselage is destined for the A350 XWB static test airframe – the first A350 XWB to be assembled. It will be followed closely by the first “flyable” airframe for MSN1, one of the five flight test aircraft Airbus will build. The static airframe is used solely for ground tests that will demonstrate the aircraft’s ability to sustain certification loads and provide key data ahead of first flight in 2013.
Editor PickMore companies join NASA’s Advanced Composites Consortium
The project’s goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines by 30 percent for composite aircraft.