Airbus announced the wings for the first Airbus A350-1000 have begun the process of assembly at Broughton, North Wales. The A350-1000 has a wingspan similar to that of the A350-900, but 90 percent of its components have been changed, including an extension to the trailing edge to resize the wing. It includes a droop-nose and adaptive dropped-hinge flaps, which increase the jetliner’s efficiency at low speeds.
The A350 XWB wing will be designed and developed at Airbus’ facility in Filton, near Bristol, UK, where a number of other systems are designed and tested including fuel systems and landing gear. The jet itself is schedule to start service in 2017.
According to Airbus, the 32 meter-long A350 XWB wing is the largest carbon fiber composite material-based components in civil aviation today. Forbes adds that 70 percent of the A350 XWB frame is made from advanced lightweight materials.
“To improve efficiency at higher speeds, the A350 XWB can deflect its wing flaps differentially, optimizing the wing profile and providing better load control,” Airbus said in an August 18 release. “The A350 XWB can deflect its wing flaps differentially, optimizing the wing profile and providing better load control.”
The A350-1000 measures 74m from nose to tail, and has the longest-fuselage version of Airbus wide-body airliners. The aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engines. The jet holds 366 passengers but can also be configured for a higher-density layout to accommodate up to 440 passengers. The engine will provide 97,000 pounds of thrust on take-off – making it the most powerful engine ever developed for an Airbus aircraft.
According to Airbus’ website, the A350-1000 will be “capable of supporting the development of long-haul routes for emerging markets such as Shanghai-Boston or Paris-Santiago, as well as more traditional flight segments as Manchester-Los Angeles or Dubai-Melbourne.” In total, the jet will have a range of 7,900 nautical miles and claims to offer 25 percent greater fuel efficiency than its nearest competitor, which according to Seattle Business Journal, is expected to be Boeing’s 777-9X.