Airbus has started work on the first metal components for the A350 XWB centre wing box.
The work commenced on 5 March at the airframer's facility in Nantes.
Centre wing box manufacture has so far involved work to produce standard composite panels.
"This is the first time that composites have been manufactured ahead of metallic parts," says Airbus.
It points out that this reflects the increased use of composite material for the twin-jet.