Airbus Completes Build of the First A350 XWB Aft Fuselage

14th March 2012

Airbus has announced the that structural assembly of the first A350 XWB aft fuselage destined for the first flying A350 XWB has been completed at Airbus’ manufacturing site in Hamburg (Germany). The fuselage section will now undergo its secondary interior structural assembly and system installation before being delivered to the A350 XWB final assembly line in Toulouse (France).

The A350 models are widely seen as Airbus’ answer to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and both aircraft make extensive use of advanced metallics and fiber reinforced polymers and other composite materials to minimize weight. Developing lighter aircraft is a key focus for manufacturers to help improve fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions, and the use of advanced materials is becoming ever more widespread.

The A350 XWB is reported to be constructed from 53% composites, 19% metallic alloys, 14% titanium, 6% steel and 8% miscellaneous.

Airbus has developed an innovative process for assembling this part of the A350 XWB fuselage which optimizes 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 programmes where the panels and floor grid are first assembled into a full barrel, to which the rear fuselage section is subsequently joined.

Press Release issued by Airbus