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Airbus Flight-Tests A350 XWB Composite Fuselage Panel

19 September 2010

Airbus is flight-testing an A350 XWB design-standard fuselage panel made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). The 15m² 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.

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 and at Stade in Germany respectively.