Spirit AeroSystems ships first composite fuselage panels for A350 XWB

Spirit's Section 15 composite fuselage panels are being sent to Saint-Nazaire, France, from Spirit's newest commercial facility in Kinston, N.C.

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Spirit AeroSystems Inc. (Kinston, N.C., USA) reported on Oct. 24 that it has shipped the first production composite center fuselage panels for the Airbus A350 XWB program out of its Kinston, N.C., facility. The Section 15 fuselage panels are being sent to Saint-Nazaire, France, where final upper shell assembly will occur.

Section 15 of the fuselage consists of the center composite upper and forward lower shells manufactured by Spirit.

"Our North Carolina team has worked hard to achieve this important milestone," said Dan Wheeler, vice president-general manager, North Carolina business unit. "With help from our customer, we have successfully integrated with Airbus methods, tools, processes and systems. Shipment of these composite fuselage panels represents a significant achievement for Spirit employees as we work with Airbus to meet all their requirements and delivery schedules for the pre-final assembly phase."

Spirit won a contract with Airbus in May 2008 to design and produce the A350 XWB's composite center fuselage section. Spirit also designs and builds the spar and fixed leading edge for the A350 XWB.