Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. ("Spirit" NYSE: SPR), the world's largest first-tier aerostructures manufacturer, has closed a deal with Airbus to design and produce the composite fuselage structure for A350 XWB.
The new XWB fuselage will have a parallel cross-section width from door 1 to door 4, unlike previous Airbus aircraft to provide maximum usable volume. The double-lobe (ovoid) fuselage cross-section will have a maximum outer diameter of 5.97 m (compared to 5.64 m for the A330/A340). The cabin's internal diameter will be 5.61 m wide at armrest level (compared with 5.49 m of the 787 and 5.86 m of the 777).
In the eight abreast two-four-two arrangement, which is a standard layout, the seats will be 19.5 in (49.5 cm) wide between 2-in wide arm rests. Airbus claims that the seat width will be 0.5 in greater than the seat on the 787 in the equivalent configuration. In the nine abreast, three-three-three high density layout, the XWB's seat width will be 17.7 in which will be 0.5 in wider to the proposed equivalent seat layout for the Boeing 787.
According to the deal, Spirit AeroSystems will construct a new plant in North Carolina (a Composites Manufacturing Center for aircraft parts and assemblies) where it will build the fuselage structure. Portions of work on the A350 XWB are also planned to be performed at Spirit Wichita and at the new Spirit Malaysia facility, which is expected to be operational in 2009.
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