The first wing for the A350 XWB has arrived at Airbus’ final assembly line in Toulouse, where the new generation Airbus widebody aircraft is being assembled.
An Airbus A300-600ST Beluga, which is an A300-600 freighter modified extensively so it can transport very large aircraft parts for the A350 XWB, A380 and other Airbus commercial-aircraft production programs, ferried the first A350 XWB wing to Toulouse.
This first wing, which will not fly, is destined for the Airbus A350 XWB airframe used for static structural tests on the ground.
All new commercial aircraft undergo such tests as part of their certification process.
As for all other Airbus aircraft, the wings for the A350 XWB are made at the manufacturer’s facility at Broughton in the UK.
The A350 XWB wing covers are 32 meters long by a meters wide, making them the biggest single civil-aviation parts made from carbon-fiber composite material.
According to Airbus, the wings’ advanced structural design and superior aerodynamics are both significant contributors to the A350 XWB’s expected 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn compared with similarly sized, current-generation widebody jets.