The A350 XWB static test airframe was moved to the L34 static test hall in Toulouse, France, during November.
The A350 XWB static test airframe was moved to the L34 static test hall in Toulouse, France, during November.

The airframe came from the A350 XWB final assembly line at Toulouse, France, and was transferred to the L34 static test hall situated in the Lagardère industrial zone – home to the A380 final assembly line.

The A350 XWB structure is 53% composite-based, including major elements such as wings and fuselage. (See Airbus A350 XWB update.)

The A350 XWB airframe will be integrated into a test rig for a campaign that will submit it to nearly a year of evaluations, including limit load and ultimate load validations, along with residual strength and margin research.

The L34 static test hall covers an area of 10,000 m2, and is supported by 200 workers during peak testing activity. It houses a rig that incorporates 2,500 tons of steel and 240 jacks/loading lines, which are used to induce structural loads. The testing is recorded by some 12,000 sensors.

The static test airframe was the first to be built on the A350 XWB’s new Roger Béteille final assembly line in Toulouse (see French Prime Minister inaugurates A350 XWB assembly line.) The airframe is sized to represent the A350-900 version of the aircraft.

The A350 XWB is scheduled to enter service in the second half of 2014. (See Further delay for Airbus A350 XWB.)