The front section for the first flyable A350 XWB, from one of Airbus’s newest generations of fuel-efficient aircraft families, arrives at final assembly line in Toulouse, France.
The 21-metre long section has already gone through procedures in the aircraft manufacturer’s facilities in the UK, Spain and Germany, before being taken back to the main plant by the Beluga transporter. It is now equipped with all its systems, ready to be joined with the centre and aft fuselage sections over the summer period.
Proclaimed as a plane model that will shape the future of air travel, the A350 AWB has an all-new Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) fuselage that results in lower fuel consumption and easier maintenance. More than 70 per cent of the aircraft’s weight-efficient airframe is made from advanced materials, combining 53 per cent of composite structures with titanium and advanced aluminum alloys.
There are currently 548 firm orders for A350 XWB from 34 customers worldwide, including Cathay Pacific (see story here).