LOS ANGELES Aircraft
manufacturer Airbus SAS has completed the structural assembly
and system connections for the first flight-test version of its
new A350 Extra Wide Body (XWB) airliner.
The work, which was performed at
the A350s final assembly line in Toulouse, France,
included electrical "power-on" of the planes entire
fuselage and wings. Testing of the hydraulic system is due to
begin soon, followed by full electric and hydraulic power-on of
the aircraft, which is expected around the end of the month,
and then further tests before installation of its engines. Its
first test flight is expected in mid-2013.
Initial delivery of the A350, viewed as a competitor to
Boeing Co.s 787 Dreamliner, has been slated for late 2013
but speculation is building that it might not happen until the
following year. The first 787 was delivered last year.