The first Airbus A350 XWB nose section has been transported to Airbus in St Nazaire by the manufacturer’s Beluga transport aircraft from Airbus partner Aerolia’s site in Méaulte.
Airbus released the photograph to the media on the same day that the first Boeing 787 for Dreamliner launch customer All Nippon Airways took off on its delivery flight from Everett, Washington to Tokyo Haneda Airport.
The Airbus A350 XWB nose section comprises three main sub-assemblies: the cockpit plus upper and lower forward-fuselage parts, which incorporate door one and the nose landing gear bay.
Making use of modern, high-tech materials, the A350 XWB nose section is made of 40 per cent composites, 55 per cent aluminum/aluminum-lithium and 5 per cent titanium.
Once assembled and equipped, the nose section will be joined to the forward fuselage (made and equipped in Hamburg) to form together the A350 XWB front fuselage.
The Beluga A300-600ST is an Airbus A300-600R, outfitted with a heavily modified, outsize fuselage to be able to accommodate Airbus widebody fuselage and wing sections. Airbus has built five of the type. The Beluga forms an integral part of Airbus’ supply chain for its widebody final-assembly process.