PICTURE: GKN manufactures A350 XWB wing-spar prototype

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UK manufacturer GKN has shown off the first examples of prototype composite rear wing spars for the Airbus A350 XWB wing-box demonstrator at its Yeovil plant.

The prototype manufacture milestone is the latest for GKN's A350 XWB work package.

Announced in September 2008 the package gives GKN responsibility for spar and fixed trailing-edge assembly development and supply.

GKN expects to start manufacturing spars at its Filton plant's new composite production facility within the next 12 months.

a350 spar
 © GKN

The company's engineering teams' composites development work is taking place in Filton, Munich and on the UK's Isle of Wight while prototype spar assembly is at Yeovil.

GKN is also responsible for the Airbus A400M military transporter wing spar. The company is applying what it has learnt from the A400M programme to its A350 spar production.