On Thursday 2nd January 2014 Airbus rolled-out its third A350 XWB flight-test aircraft, MSN2, from the paint shop in Toulouse, marking yet another successful milestone on the path to entry-into-service in Q4 2014. As well as featuring a distinctive “Carbon” signature livery to reflect its primary construction from advanced materials, this aircraft is also the first of two A350 flight test aircraft to be equipped with a full passenger cabin interior.
MSN2 will join the A350 XWB flight test fleet in the coming weeks and will be the first A350 to transport passengers when it undertakes the Early Long Flights (ELF) later in the year.
Composite materials in Airbus aircraft have seen a step-by-step introduction that started with the A310 which was first rolled-out in February 1982. Benefiting from over 30 years of composite material experience, 53% of the A350 XWB’s airframe is made-up of carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) including Airbus’ first carbon-fibre fuselage.