The A350 XWB programme has reached a new industrial milestone with the successful curing of this new-generation jetliner’s composite “crown” fuselage panel. The 19.7-metres-long, 77-square-metre component was completed by Airbus partner Spirit Aerosystems at its Kinston, North Carolina, USA site – where the panel is now ready for its trimming, drilling and non-destructive inspection processes, to be performed over the coming weeks.
News in brief
The longest fuselage panel for Airbus’ A350 XWB completes its curing process
An A380 visits the site of China's A320 assembly line
Tianjin, which is home to the A320 Family Final Assembly Line and Delivery Centre in China, gave a traditional welcome for the A380’s first visit to Tianjin Binhai International Airport. Today’s arrival brings to 125 the number of airports around the world visited by Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner.
Airbus’ President and CEO joins parachutists for jump from the A400M airlifter
The A400M’s superior capabilities for paratroop operations were underscored by a successful parachute jump from the Grizzly 3 developmental aircraft, which occurred yesterday over the La Juliana drop-zone near Seville, Spain. Included in the ten-man team of parachutists were Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders and Bruno Delannoy, A400M Programme Manager at the OCCAR organisation – both of whom are accomplished skydivers. See footage from the jump in Airbus’ video gallery.
The A380 takes to Egyptian skies for the first time
Airbus’ 21st century flagship A380 has completed its initial visit to Egypt, which concluded with a special flight over the country’s ancient pyramids. This milestone trip also included the A380 developmental aircraft’s presence at the 2010 AVEX International Airshow in Sharm el-Sheikh, as well as successful airport compatibility tests at Cairo International Airport.
Airbus delivers its 400th aircraft in 2010
Maintaining the sustained delivery rate in 2010, Airbus has handed over its 400th aircraft this year. The milestone jetliner was an A330-300 provided on 22 October to Cathay Pacific Airways. This Hong Kong-based carrier is a long-time operator of Airbus aircraft, with a major fleet of A330s/A340s currently in service and A350s on order.
China Southern Airlines' first A380 is fitted with its tail
The impressive 122-square-metre vertical tail plane for China Southern Airlines’ initial A380 has been fitted to the aircraft on the Final Assembly Line at Airbus’ Toulouse, France facility. This installation process takes about eight hours at the assembly line’s Station 40, which is the position where A380 major sections – including the wings – are fitted together. The A380’s tail is almost equivalent in size to an A320 wing, and when joined to the fuselage its tip stands 24 metres from the ground.
Delivery of the first A380 tail for China Southern Airlines
The vertical tail for China Southern Airlines’ initial A380 has arrived at its final assembly facility in Toulouse, France. This component was delivered today from Airbus’ production site in Hamburg, Germany, aboard a Beluga transport aircraft. China Southern Airlines, which has five A380s on order, is scheduled to become a new operator of Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner in 2011.
Airbus-sponsored biodiversity photo exhibit to make its U.S. debut
Continuing a world tour as part of the International Year of Biodiversity, the “See the Bigger Picture” exhibition is set to make its initial appearance in the U.S. Beginning 25 September, the display will spend nearly two months at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center in Mobile, Alabama. This exhibit – which features winning images from the Airbus-sponsored youth photo competition highlighting biodiversity – already has visited such cities as Paris, Madrid, Hamburg and Whistler in British Columbia, Canada during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
New A320 simulators at Airbus’ Miami training centre
A new full-flight simulator for the A320 Family has been added to the U.S. Airbus training centre in Miami, Florida, with another to be qualified later this year – providing highly realistic and effective training for pilots from the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. These Thales Reality7 Level D simulators include head-up displays; new Required Navigation Performance (RNP) equipment capability for precision approach and take-off training, and high-definition projection technology to produce a real-world 200 x 40 degree field of view from the cockpit.
26th Chinese-assembled aircraft delivered to West Air
Chinese private airline West Air has received its first Airbus aircraft, an A319 assembled at the A320 Family final assembly line in Tianjin. This 26th Airbus jetliner produced in China will be deployed on the carrier’s domestic routes from Chongqing to Wenzhou and via Shijiazhuang to Yantai. With the aircraft’s service entry, West Air will join a growing list of Airbus operators in China – with orders to date for nearly 600 A320 Family jetliners. West Air also is the eighth operator to receive aircraft produced at the Tianjin facility.