Airbus has finished structural assembly of the aft fuselage destined for the first flying A350 XWB (MSN1) at its manufacturing site in Hamburg, Germany. Plans now call for the fuselage section to undergo its secondary interior structural assembly and system installation before delivery to the A350 XWB final assembly line in Toulouse, France.
Airbus’s process for assembling the aft fuselage involves using the rear fuselage barrel 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 that of other Airbus programs, where technicians first assemble the panels and floor grid into a full barrel, to which they subsequently join the rear fuselage section.
The 65-foot-long carbon-fiber A350 XWB aft fuselage consists of the rear fuselage barrel, produced at Airbus’ Getafe plant in Spain, two lateral aft fuselage panels made by Premium Aerotec in Germany and the upper and lower aft fuselage panels manufactured by Airbus in Stade, Germany.