Special Christmas delivery as first A350-1000 wing leaves Broughton

Published on: 23rd December 2015

Next generation of Airbus’ all-new wide-body airliner takes shape

The first wing for the new higher-capacity variant of the Airbus A350 airliner has left Broughton for Bremen in Germany where it will receive final fitting out before delivery to the final assembly line in Toulouse.

The A350-1000 will carry around 366 passengers in a typical three-class configuration. This wing will be used on the first of three test aircraft which will be used in the certification process and the first flight is expected during 2016.

At 32 metres long by six metres wide, the A350 XWB wing has the largest single part made from carbon fibre composite material in use in civil aviation today. They are designed and developed at Airbus’ facility in Filton, near Bristol, where a number of other systems are designed and tested including fuel systems and landing gear.

Head of the Broughton Plant, Paul McKinlay said: “This is a great finale for another fantastic year at Airbus in Broughton, and it sets the scene for another great year in 2016 when this aircraft takes to the sky for the first time.

“The A350-900 has already proved extremely popular with the airlines operating the aircraft, and their passengers and we’re justifiably proud to be part of the next chapter for this plane.”

The high-performance wings of the A350 XWB means the aircraft offers the latest in aerodynamics which in turns makes it more fuel-efficient. The wing design includes several streamlined features. Among these are droop-nose leading edge devices and new adaptive dropped-hinge flaps, which increase the jetliner’s efficiency at low speeds.

To improve efficiency at higher speeds, the A350 XWB can deflect its wing flaps differentially, optimising the wing profile and providing better load control.

The A350-1000 will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines and these are currently being tested on an A380 “Flying Test Bed” aircraft.

The team celebrates the progress with a Christmas cheer; Simon Shingler along with Andy Owen; Pete Dagnal; Rhys Cousins; Chris Cousins; Pete Ash and Martin McFettridge in the mouth of the Beluga with the A350-1000 wing on board.

A350-1000 first wing departs the Beluga line Station into the Beluga to Bremen