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The Airbus A350 XWB Final Assembly Line. A350 XWB First Flight

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Published on Jan 17, 2009

Airbus A350 XWB First Flight

The final assembly process of the A350 XWB has been designed with efficiency in mind. Building on Airbus many years of aircraft production experience, the new streamlined production process will result in a shorter assembly time and a more efficient testing programme.

Aircraft sections, already equipped and tested, will arrive at the new A350 assembly facility in Toulouse, France. This will reduce the amount of systems work required at the final assembly line.

Before final assembly starts, the galley and flight crew rest compartments will be loaded into the three fuselage sections. The fuselage sections will then be joined together, giving a complete interior shell that can be furnished in parallel with ongoing assembly work.

In the next stage, the wings will be joined to the fuselage, and the horizontal and vertical tail planes will also be installed. While this is taking place, the first stage of cabin installation will start, much earlier in the aircraft assembly process.

Integration of the landing gear and other systems will run in parallel with the wing join-up, and first Power On will take place. This will enable the start of functional tests before the wing join-up is completed.

The aircraft will then move from the new A350 XWB facility to the existing A330/340 final assembly line, also in Toulouse, France, where it will undergo all other ground testing and further cabin work.

The aircraft will then follow the current A330/340 assembly and delivery process: fuel and pressurisation tests, painting, engine assembly and installation of high-value cabin items such as premium seats, followed by final ground tests and first flight before the start of the delivery process

When production reaches its peak, the whole process, from start of final assembly to delivery to our customer, will take two and a half months, representing a 30 percent lead-time saving.

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