German plant starts A350 production work

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Airbus has started manufacturing the upper wing shell for the A350 twin-jet at its German production facilities.

The carbonfibre reinforced plastic component will be produced at the centre in Stade, near Hamburg, and will measure 31.6m by 5.6m (104ft by 18ft).

Airbus says this makes the shell the largest integrated component the airframer has ever built from this material.

"For the first time automated tape-laying technology will be used not only for the carbon fibre but also for the lightning-strike protection and fibreglass components," it adds.

Stade will also produce the vertical fin, fuselage shells and wing-panel stringers for the aircraft, while the plant's features include technology to trim edges using water-jets and inspect carbonfibre component surfaces internally and externally at the same time.