Airbus announced it’s started production of the first composite fiber barrel for the A350 XWB fuselage at its Illescas, Spain, plant.
The majority of the fuselage is made from carbon fiber panels.
Airbus says good progress is being made on the aircraft. Production has begun on the upper wing cover at Stade, Germany, and assembly of the first center wing box and keel beam in Nantes, France.
Spirit AeroSystems’ plant in Kinston, N.C., has completed the first “long crown” panel for the plane’s center fuselage.
Airbus is planning three passenger versions of the A350 XWB with seats from 270 to 440, depending on the version.
The first A350-900 is expected to be delivered in the second half of 2013.