Airbus has successfully developed the first composite lay-up for the A350 XWB aircraft in Nantes, France, marking the firm’s production of new long-range aircraft.

The carbon-panel for the centre wing-box (CWB) with a surface area of 36m² is manufactured using a new state-of-the-art laying machine, and will be delivered to Airbus Saint-Nazaire for integration.

In the A350 XWB aircraft, 53% of weight will be composite-based, including major elements such as wings and fuselage.

The A350 XWB aircraft is powered by new-generation Rolls-Royce Trent engines and has a range of up to 8,300nm (15,400km).

The aircraft offers unprecedented levels of comfort and has the widest fuselage, lowest operating costs and lowest seat-mile cost of any aircraft in this market segment.