Airbus, despite the recently announced a 3 month delay in the A350XWB program due to automation issues in its wing factory, is making significant progress toward the initial aircraft and first flight. Last week Airbus powered up the cockpit of the A350XWB to being testing of aircraft systems prior to final assembly of the first aircraft. This is a significant milestone, as it moves the aircraft from component assembly into the first testing and integration of various components.
Testing the cockpit section before the aircraft is even completed will provide engineers the opportunity to troubleshoot potential problems, and clear them up before the final assembly of the first aircraft, MSN1, is completed in September. Airbus spokesman Martin Fendt indicated that “the power-up acts as a dry run for the ground tests that will take place on the complete aircraft. This allows us to check the quality and completeness of the nose fuselage.”