Airbus has completed primary structural assembly of the first flying prototype A350-900, and transported it to the testing station next to the assembly line in Toulouse.
The twinjet, MSN1, has been moved, on its own undercarriage for the first time, from the final assembly line. It has yet to be equipped with its Rolls-Royce Trent XWB powerplants.
Airbus is aiming to perform the maiden flight of the aircraft around mid-2013. MSN1 is the first of five flight-test airframes which will be constructed.
It will undergo hydraulic testing at Toulouse's station 30 point, having already completed electrical power-on tests of the fuselage and wings at the station 40 assembly line.
"This will mark the start of several weeks of comprehensive functional system testing," says the airframer. Once the station 30 tests are finished the aircraft will moved into certification and development testing, and have its powerplants installed.