Assembling the first wing box for the very first Airbus A350 to take to the skies, a test aircraft called MSN1, has been completed. The wing box is basically the structure of the wing without the movable flight surfaces. This is a significant milestone for Airbus since earlier problems in creating the wing had forced the manufacturer to delay A350 deliveries by up to three months to the second half of 2014. Software development related to the wings had been lagging behind, but Airbus now says that the problem has been resolved.
The schedule for the A350’s first flight, planned for the first half of 2013, has not been changed, but Airbus confirms that there will be a delay in the first deliveries. The two MSN1 wings are expected to reach the final assembly line in Toulouse in September, to be fixed to the fuselage in October. This is the point when Airbus will confirm the date for the first flight.
[pictured: Cathay Pacific A350; image courtesy Airbus]