|Airbus started final assembly of the first A350-1000 on schedule at the A350 XWB final assembly line in Toulouse, France, beginning in February 2016. Photo: Airbus
[Avionics Today 02-12-2016] Airbus’ A350 XWB was kicked off this week in parallel with the baseline A350-900 version’s continued production ramp-up to meet market demand. To facilitate the concurrent A350-900 and A350-1000 production, Airbus has introduced three new stations in its Toulouse, France A350 XWB final assembly line, where A350-900 versions have been assembled since 2012.
The additions are a third Station 50, where the forward, center and aft fuselage sections are joined, along with nose landing gear installation; a fourth Station 40, for wing-fuselage junction and tailplane installation; and a fourth Station 30, for ground testing and cabin furnishing activities. All final assembly line stations can accommodate both aircraft types.
The A350-1000 currently on the line, one of three flight test aircraft to be built, will take to the skies for its maiden flight before the end of 2016. A350-1000 deliveries will start in mid-2017 with launch customer Qatar Airways.