Airbus receives FAA certification on its A350-900 airliner

The Airbus A350-900 commercial mid-size aircraft has received type certification from the Federal Aviation Administration, the company said Wednesday, which paves the way for deliveries into the U.S.

The award follows type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency in late September.

The certifications follow a stringent program of certification trials, which test the plane’s airframe and systems well beyond their design limits to ensure airworthiness criteria are met, Airbus said.

Spirit AeroSystems builds the A350’s center fuselage frame sections at its Kinston, N.C., facility and ships them to a facility in Saint-Nazaire, France, for assembly into the center fuselage barrel and delivery to Airbus.

The center fuselage section is about 65 feet long and 20 feet wide and weighs nearly 9,000 pounds.

Spirit also builds the wings’ front spar in its Kinston facility, which opened in 2010.

Airbus has five A350-900 airplanes in its test fleet, which have accumulated more than 2,600 flight test hours.

The A350 XWB is a long-range airliner and the newest plane in Airbus’ fleet of widebody aircraft.

At the end of October, Airbus had won 750 orders for the plane from 39 customers globally.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.