Center fuselage section of the first A350 XWB. Courtesy, Airbus

Airbus has begun the final assembly of the first A350 XWB at its new final assembly line in Toulouse after delivery of the center fuselage Wednesday from St. Nazaire, France. Airbus will begin joining the 19.7-meter long center fuselage with the 21-meter long front fuselage.

According to Airbus, this first A350 XWB airframe will be used for the static structural tests that all new aircraft undergo as part of their certification process. The assembly of the first flying A350 XWB, MSN1, will start during summer.

The front fuselage was previously delivered from St. Nazaire to the A350 XWB final assembly line on the Dec. 23, 2011 (ATW Daily News, Jan. 20, 2012).

Delivery and installation of the aft fuselage from Hamburg, Germany (ATW Daily News, March 15) will take place in the coming weeks, followed by the wings delivered from Airbus’ wing assembly site in Broughton, UK, Airbus said in a statement.