Airbus has started assembly of its first A350 XWB static test airframe at its facility in Toulouse, France. Assembly of the first flying A350 is scheduled to get underway by mid-year.
Assembly of the static test airframe, which will be used for structural tests as part of the certification process, began with the joining of the 19.7 metre centre fuselage with the 21 metre front fuselage, both of which were manufactured at Airbus’s St Nazaire facility in France. Delivery and installation of the aft fuselage from Hamburg, Germany is expected to take place in the coming weeks. That will be followed by delivery of the A350 the wings from Airbus’s wing assembly facility in Broughton, UK.
A carbon composite built mid-size widebody twin, the A350 is slated to begin deliveries in the first half of 2014 after Airbus announced a six month delay in the program late last year.