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Wing demonstrator validates A350 XWB production techniques

The "demo box 2" wing demonstrator - which is more than 60 per cent of the actual A350 XWB wing's final size - is helping validate the manufacturing methods for Airbus' next-generation jetliner.

29 September 2009 Feature story

A large wing demonstrator created by Airbus' A350 XWB team is succeeding in testing production methods for the carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) elements to be utilised on this next-generation jetliner ahead of its full production start-up.

"Demo box 2" - which is more than 60 per cent of the actual aircraft wing's final size - also is being employed to test ease of assembly of the wing's components. Information learned from this experimental section will then be implemented into the design and engineering plans for the first A350 XWB aircraft.

Airbus' next generation jetliner will be a faster, more efficient and quieter aircraft as the result of the advanced design of its wings, which are primarily being built from CFRP.

Demo box 2 is one of several demonstrators the A350 XWB team is using to test out, harmonise and validate the manufacturing methods and tooling of the jetliner's carbon fibre reinforced plastic components before the start of series production. Last month, Airbus rolled out its second A350 XWB composite fuselage demonstrator - a close reflection of the fuselage's final design that is being used to develop and validate the complete process chain.

Airbus Centre of Excellence sites in Illescas, Spain, Stade, Germany, and Broughton, UK collaborated on the creation of the wing demonstrator.

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