Airbus has complete structural assembly of the first A350 XWB aft fuselage, at the company’s manufacturing site in Hamburg in Germany.
This first aft fuselage is destined for the first flying Airbus A350 XWB, which will have the manufacturer’s serial number (MSN) 1.
The fuselage section will now undergo secondary interior structural assembly and system installation before being delivered to the Airbus A350 XWB final assembly line in Toulouse in France.
Airbus says it has developed an innovative process for assembling the aft A350 XWB fuselage, the method optimizing 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 aircraft-production programs, where the panels and floor grid are first assembled into a full barrel to which the rear fuselage section is subsequently joined.
The 20-meter-long, carbon-fiber A350 XWB aft fuselage is made up of the rear fuselage barrel, produced at Airbus’ Getafe plant in Spain; two lateral aft fuselage panels made by Premium Aerotec in Germany; and the upper and lower aft fuselage panels manufactured by Airbus in Stade in Germany.
After a successful first flight of the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine on February 18, Airbus is now conducting a test-flight program for the Trent XWB which will power the A350 XWB family. The first flight-test engine is installed on the inner left-wing pylon position on the airframe manufacturer’s Airbus A380 flight-test aircraft, the aircraft’s other engines being three Trent 900s.