First Flyable A350 XWB Structurally Complete

 - December 4, 2012, 9:16 AM
A350 XWB MSN 001 makes its first journey from Station 40 at the final assembly line in Toulouse to Station 30 for functional systems testing. (Photo: Airbus)

Airbus has finished building the main structural assembly and system connection of the first A350 XWB flight test aircraft, MSN-001, the company announced on Tuesday.  The aircraft rolled out of the main assembly hall (Station 40) at the recently inaugurated “Roger Béteille” A350 XWB Final Assembly Line in Toulouse. It then entered the adjacent indoor ground-test station (Station 30).

The assembly work performed in Station 40 included the successful electrical “power-on” of the aircraft’s entire fuselage and wings. Plans call for work in Station 30 to start “soon” with testing the airplane’s hydraulic system, followed by full electric and hydraulic power-on, scheduled for completion around the end of the year. That milestone would mark the start of several weeks of comprehensive functional system testing.

After removing the MSN-001 from station 30, Airbus plans to conduct a series of production and certification/development tests, paint the airplane and install its Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofans. Schedules then call for delivery to the flight line ahead of planned first flight some time around the middle of next year.