Airbus has unveiled the first A350 XWB to have been fully painted in the manufacturer’s livery.
The wide-bodied aircraft was rolled out of the company’s paintshop in Toulouse earlier today.
It took less than a week to paint the plane, and follows the recent completion of flight-test-instrumentation (FTI) verification.
Last month, the A350 XWB underwent its engines installation, and passed a subsequent intensive phase of ground vibration tests.
The plane’s final tests will soon get underway before its maiden flight this summer.
The final assembly line in Toulouse – named after Roger Beteille, aviation pioneer and one of the four founding fathers of Airbus – was officially inaugurated by French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault last year (see online news, October 2013).
The 74,000 sqm assembly line employs up to 1,500 people, with launch customer Qatar Airways scheduled to take delivery of the first A350 next year.
Airbus has taken over 550 orders for the A350 XWB (Extra Wide Body), with other major customers including Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Asiana, TAM, United, Aeroflot, US Airways and Singapore Airlines.
The aircraft will compete in the next-generation wide-body market with Boeing’s B787 Dreamliner.
For more information visit airbus.com.
Report by Graham Smith