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Airbus' Special Delivery: a Huge Composite Wing for a Plane That Doesn't Exist (Yet)

September 20, 2012 at 9:30 AM | by | ()

We’ll be the first to admit that we have a little bit of Boeing 787 fever, as we’re pretty much interested in everything the plane has to offer; from passenger seats to toilet seats we want to know about it. That being said, we want to remain fair and balanced—especially during election season—so we thought it was worth sharing a little news about Airbus and what they’ve been working on.

The Airbus A350 XWB is the next new plane scheduled to roll out of Airbus headquarters, and this bird will be the first Airbus plane fitted with carbon fiber and other composite bits and pieces in both the fuselage and the wings. The current schedule has a first flight at some point in 2013 with a delivery in 2014. We'll see about that.

For right now it’s all good news surrounding the plane, as the first wing for the A350 just arrived over in France at the Airbus facility. It won’t see any time up in the air, but the wing is ready for structural tests and other examinations. As you can imagine, it’s a little more complicated than simply just bouncing up and down on the end of the wing.

In total, this new wing is like 105 feet long—give or take an inch or two. All the fancy-pants materials and technology stuffed into this wing should eventually save plenty of jet fuel. As of now, Airbus is claiming that this version of the A350 might just save up to around 25% of its fuel, and that’s something the sales team is eager to share with airline industry suits.

Though you won’t be able to head up into the sky on the A350 XWB anytime soon, trust that'll it'll make more headlines starting, oh...a year from now.

[Photo: Airbus]

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