Airbus has completed manufacturing and painting the vertical stabiliser for the first A350 (MSN1), which is to participate in the flight test campaign.

The 10m (33ft) tall composite structure has been painted in the manufacturer's house colours and is the first airframe component to be finished in the aircraft's livery.

A350 tail fin
© Airbus

It was manufactured at Airbus's plant in Stade, Germany and painted at the final assembly line in Toulouse.

The airframer says that the joint structure with the fuselage will be "lighter and more aerodynamic" than on previous models.

Airbus aims to operate the inaugural flight of the A350-900 in the middle of 2013.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news