First Airbus A350 XWB aft fuselage built

The first Airbus A350 XWB aft fuselage.
The first Airbus A350 XWB aft fuselage.

The 20 m long carbon fibre composite A350 XWB aft fuselage is made up of the rear fuselage barrel, produced at the Airbus Getafe plant in Spain, two lateral aft fuselage panels made by Premium AEROTEC of Germany, plus the upper and lower aft fuselage panels manufactured by Airbus in Stade, 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.

Airbus has developed a process for assembling this part of the A350 XWB fuselage which is designed to optimise 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.

The A350 XWB structure is 53% composite-based, including major elements such as wings and fuselage.The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in 2014.