29 OCTOBER 2012
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The vertical tail plane of the first flyable A350 XWB (MSN1) has just come out of the paint hall in Toulouse sporting the well-known Airbus blue and white livery. This is the first A350 XWB component to be painted in the Airbus livery.
The 10 metre tall, composite vertical tail plane is produced, as for all Airbus aircraft, at Airbus’ Stade site in Germany. The vertical tail plane is joined to the fuselage using an innovative, lighter connection that is also more aerodynamic. It is painted with an environmentally friendly, chromate free primer paint.
In addition, following best practice from the car industry, Airbus will use a new base coat/clear coat system which requires less paint and less solvent. This eco-efficient painting process also means that less detergent will be needed when washing the aircraft. Inside, Airbus will use a water-based paint wherever possible, one of the most environmentally friendly types of paint available.
At the present time 34 customers have placed 558 firm orders for the A350 XWB. It is due to enter service in the second half of 2014 with Qatar Airways the lead customer. www.airbus.com
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