PICTURE: Airbus shows off wing box for first flying A350

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Airbus has completed structural assembly of the first flying A350-900 prototype's initial wing box at its Broughton plant in the UK.

The 32m (105ft) box for the left wing of MSN1 - the first of five A350 airframes allocated to flight testing - will undergo further subassembly and system work at the facility.

It will then be transferred to Germany for installation of high-lift systems at Bremen, after which it will be shipped to the A350 final assembly line in Toulouse.

Airbus says the wing box was removed from the Broughton jig on 6 August.

a350xwb wing box airbus

 Airbus

Drilling of the wing's structural components has proven trickier to manage than expected, and a hold-up with automating the process recently forced Airbus to delay entry into service by three months.

But the manufacturer is still aiming to conduct the maiden flight around the middle of 2013.

MSN1's forward fuselage has already arrived at the Toulouse line and has undergone initial power-on tests for the cockpit avionics.