Airbus has received the first major section of the A350 twinjet at its final assembly line in Toulouse, with delivery of the forward fuselage from the Saint-Nazaire facility.
The 21m (69ft) cockpit and forward cabin has been transported to Toulouse by Airbus A300-600ST freighter.
It will form part of airframe MSN5000, the static test example, and will be mated with the centre fuselage in the first quarter of next year.
The first vertical fin, manufactured in the German plant at Stade, arrived at the Toulouse line on 19 December, while the Hamburg facility took delivery of the first rear fuselage - assembled at Getafe in Spain - on 16 December.
Airbus will begin final assembly of MSN1, the first flight-test A350, in the second quarter of 2012.