Airbus cuts first metal for A350 freighter
Airbus announced the arrival of the first components for the new A350 freighter from the plants in Stade, Bremen, and Varel.
Airbus Aerostructures and Premium Aerotec (PAI) teams met for the so-called ‘first metal cuts’, although metal was not actually involved every time.
Airbus has received 39 firm orders for the new A350F version since its launch in July 2021. In June this year, the livery of the very first aircraft was unveiled during the Paris Air Show.
Melanie Markgraf, ASA A350F project manager: “In 2013, I was lucky enough to celebrate the first flight of the A350, together with many other colleagues. Ten years later, it is vital to make one of the biggest evolutions of this fantastic aircraft a reality.”
Premium Aerotec is responsible for some of the A350F’s major components and is an important supplier to the programme.
With the ‘first metal cut’ at the Varel site, i.e. the manufacture of the first machined part, Premium Aerotec has now launched production of this new aircraft type.
Aerostructures develops the forward section, whereas the engineering responsibility for the aft section lies with Airbus Operations.
The A350F is based on the world-class A350-1000. The freighter features a fuselage length optimised for cargo operations and an extra large cargo door on the main deck.
Over 70% of the airframe is made from advanced materials, enabling Airbus to reduce the take-off weight by over 30 tonnes for the same mission.
The aircraft thus provides an advantage of at least 20% lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions over its competitor product.
With a payload capability of up to 111 tonnes (five tonnes more payload and 11% more volume than its competitor), the A350F serves all cargo markets, from express traffic to general cargo, and even outsize loads.
In the large freighter category, it will be the first to fulfil the ICAO CO2 emissions standards for 2028.
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