August 2012

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A350-900 fabrication gets underway, say hello to MSN001

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The A350 XWB doesn't quite resemble an aircraft yet, but today in Nantes, France, Airbus announced it has fabricated the first composite piece for the upper panel of the first A350-900's center wing box. MSN001 is now a 387 sq. ft composite panel.

This panel will eventually be incorporated with others manufactured in Nantes to become the aircraft's center wing box. After completion, the center wing box will be shipped to Saint Nazaire.

The center wing box will be joined in with composite panels fabricated in Kinston, North Carolina by Spirit AeroSystems. Saint-Nazaire will host the assembly and equipping of A350 center fuselages, also referred to as Section 15, then shipped to Toulouse for final assembly.

If you're looking for a not-quite-perfect 787 comparison here, Saint-Nazaire will be the "Global Aeronautica" of the A350 program.
***Editors note: I've created a tag for the first A350 called MSN001. Looking forward to using it a lot more in the coming months (and years).

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