PICTURE: German plant produces largest A350 panel

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German manufacturing operation Premium Aerotec has produced the largest carbonfibre fuselage panel for the Airbus A350 twinjet.

The aerostructure will be located on the starboard side of the aircraft and become part of the primary forward fuselage section 13-14.

Airbus says the panel is 93m² (1,000ft²) in area and was created at Premium Aerotec's Nordenham production facility. The section includes cut-outs for the second right-hand passenger door and lower-deck cargo door.

"[We] opted for large fuselage panels for the A350 design as they can be tailored in terms of their thickness according to the different loads required at each part of the airframe," it states.

"This approach enables Airbus to optimise the airframe overall which results in enhanced performance, greater robustness and less weight."

 a350 panel

 a350 panel
 © Airbus

It will perform ultrasonic inspection, trimming and drilling of the carbonfibre panel over the next few days before it is mated with other forward fuselage components.

Nordenham has already cured the crown panel for the forward fuselage while the centre fuselage crown has been completed at the US-based Spirit AeroSystems site in Kinston.

A350 production progress has included initiation of manufacturing for lower wing covers and rear fuselage barrels at Illescas in Spain, as well as upper wing covers at another German plant in Stade. A French plant at Nantes is creating the centre wing box and keel beam, while a landing-gear test facility has opened in the UK at Filton.