First A350-1000 enters final assembly line

The first A350-1000 flight test aircraft in final assembly. (Airbus)
The first A350-1000 flight test aircraft in final assembly. (Airbus)

Airbus has added three new A350 stations at its Toulouse facility as the manufacturer begins final assembly of the first of three A350-1000 flight test aircraft while it increases production of the A350-900.

The first A350-1000 has entered the final assembly line and is expected to begin test flights before the end of 2016, Airbus said in a statement on February 10 (European time). First delivery was slated for mid-2017 to A350-1000 launch customer Qatar Airways.

The Doha-based oneworld alliance member was also the inaugural operator of the A350-900.

Airbus said the three new stations comprised a third “Station 50” where the forward, centre and aft fuselage sections were joined, along with installation of the nose landing gear; a fourth “Station 40” where the wing-fuselage junction and tailplane were installed; and a fourth “Station 30” where ground test are performed and cabin interiors fitted.

All final assembly stations were able to work on both the A350-900 and larger A350-1000.

“As a further measure for accommodating concurrent A350-900 and A350-1000 production, Airbus is increasing the number of A350 XWB final assembly line employees from its current level – approximately 1,500 – to some 1,900 by 2018,” Airbus said in a statement.

The Rolls Royce Trent XWB-97 engines that will power the A350-1000 began flying in November 2015 on Airbus’s A380 flying test bed.

Airbus said it has secured orders for 181 A350-1000s from 10 customers.

The company has said previously it expected to deliver 50 A350-900s in 2016, compared with 14 of the type delivered in 2015.

The first A350-1000 flight test aircraft in final assembly. (Airbus)
Airbus has added three new final assembly stations to the A350 final assembly line. (Airbus)
A supplied image of the first Airbus A350-1000 in final assembly. (Airbus)
The A350-1000 measures about 74 metres in length and is the largest variant of the A350 XWB family of aircraft. (Airbus)
Airbus has added three stations final assembly stations at its Toulouse facility for the A350. (Airbus)
A supplied image of the Airbus A350 final assembly line at the company’s Toulouse facility. (Airbus)

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