20 September 2011
20 September 2011
The first A350 XWB wing lower cover (WLC) has been transported from Airbus’ composites manufacturing site in Illescas, Spain, to Airbus’ wing assembly site in Broughton, United Kingdom.
The WLC will be installed on to the wing of the first A350 XWB to fly, MSN001. It was recently produced at Airbus’ Centre of Excellence for composite materials in Illescas, Spain; and measures approximately 32 metres long by six metres wide, which Airbus say makes it the biggest carbon fibre part ever produced in civil aviation.
“This is a major milestone for the A350 XWB programme and for Airbus in Spain”, said Rafael González-Ripoll, Head of Airbus’ Centre of Excellence Empennage & Aft -fuselage, “The delivery of the first flying A350 XWB wing lower cover pays tribute to the tremendous achievements made by a highly qualified, technical team. We have again demonstrated our expertise in designing, industrialising and manufacturing primary structures in carbon fibre with the A350 XWB, building on past experiences with other Airbus programmes.”
The wing cover will be fitted into the A350 XWB wing in Broughton and afterwards will be transported to Bremen (Germany) where the movable parts will be fitted. Later on, the sub-assembly will go to A350 XWB Final Assembly Line in Toulouse, where it will be joined to the fuselage.
In further news, Airbus say that the Air France-KLM Group has intends to sign for up to 60 A350 XWB aircraft, of which 25 A350-900 will be firmed up shortly.
"We are honoured that our all new, extra efficient A350 XWB will contribute to Air France-KLM’s long-term success", said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer - Customers. "The A350 XWB's unbeatable economics and environmental credentials will establish the aircraft as the future backbone of the airline's long-haul fleet. We take this decision as a testimony of confidence in our brand and products".
The use of composites within the rail industry is predicted to grow by up to 40% between 2015 and 2020 according to the Composites Leadership Forum, reports Fibrelite, a UK manufacturer of composite trench covers.
Plasan Carbon Composites (PCC) has been awarded a contract to produce the first composite ramps and bridgeplates for Amtrak.