Aerolia presents key A350 components to Airbus

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French manufacturer Aerolia has presented the first Airbus A350 XWB composite panel and cockpit window frame from its Meaulte plant to the airframer.

The composite panel has a surface area of 12m² (130ft²) and varies in thickness from 2-5mm.

"Successful non-destructive ultrasonic tests bear witness to the quality of this panel," says Aerolia, adding that it validates manufacturing processes for its new Meaulte composites unit.

Its Meaulte facility has also produced the first cockpit window frame for the twin-jet.

The company says the frame is machined down from a 1.5t aluminium blank to a structure weighing 27kg, with a length of 1.82m and thickness of 22cm.

Aerolia also has production facilities at Saint-Nazaire. This operation, which produces tubing and pipes for the A350 fuselage, has just delivered the first 130 pipes to Airbus' Hamburg plant for the test benches of the cooling systems in the aircraft.

Hydraulic pipes for the 'iron bird' test airframe will be transferred between October this year and February 2011.

Airbus has also awarded a design and construction contract to ECA Sinters and EADS Test & Services for an installation at the A350 final assembly line, under construction in Toulouse, which will validate the aircraft's systems ahead of flight testing.