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Airbus flight-tests A350 XWB composite fuselage panel

Airbus is flight-testing an A350 XWB design-standard fuselage panel made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). The 15m? structure (pictured) is fitted in place of an existing A340 aluminium fuselage section. The trials, conducted by Airbus' flight-test aircraft A340 MSN001, are part of a three-week campaign to evaluate pressurised CFRP acoustic properties and to help fine-tune sound insulation for the A350 XWB cabin. Manufactured by Airbus at Nantes, the CFRP panel is fitted with microphone sensors and will be tested with various types of acoustic insulation materials.

Recent A350 XWB production highlights:

Production of major A350 XWB parts is now progressing at various Airbus sites. Most recently, manufacture of the lower and upper wing shells commenced in August at Illescas in Spain (pictured) and at Stade in Germany respectively.

Previous production milestones for A350 XWB include:

• The first composite lay-up for the A350 XWB in Nantes in December 2009

for the centre wing box;

• The first metal-cut for the centre wing box in Nantes in March 2010.

Press release issued by Airbus S.A.S. on September 14, 2010


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