Airbus (Toulouse, France) reported on March 13 that structural assembly of the first A350 XWB aft fuselage destined for the first flying A350 XWB (MSN1) has been completed at Airbus’ manufacturing site in Hamburg, Germany. The fuselage section will undergo its secondary interior structural assembly and system installation before being delivered to the A350 XWB final assembly line in Toulouse (France).
Airbus has developed an innovative process for assembling this part of the A350 XWB fuselage, which optimizes production efficiency and quality. The rear fuselage barrel is used as a guide and support for assembling the four aft fuselage panels (two lateral, one upper, one lower) and floor grid, which together form the aft fuselage. This assembly method differs from other Airbus programs where the panels and floor grid are first assembled into a full barrel, to which the rear fuselage section is subsequently joined.
The 20m/66-ft long carbon fiber A350 XWB aft fuselage is made up of the rear fuselage barrel, produced at Airbus’ Getafe plant (Spain), two lateral aft fuselage panels made by Premium AEROTEC (Germany) plus the upper and lower aft fuselage panels manufactured by Airbus in Stade (Germany).
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The teams are still working on the design but the aircraft is expected to have a wingspan of about 3 feet and will be made of double ply, carbon fiber.