Lightweight and high-strength materials have consistently played a key role in the construction of fuel-efficient and high-performing aircraft.
Airbus has continuously increased the use of advanced and composite materials, with the development of each new aircraft type, eventually culminating with the A350.
With the A350 Family, the outcome is a predominantly composite material aircraft (up to 54%), complemented by titanium and advanced metallic alloys.
The extensive use of advanced materials, together with innovative structural engineering, enables the A350 Operating Weight Empty (OWE) to be 20t lighter than the current 777-300ERs that it replaces.
The 4-panel design enables long fuselage sections thanks to its industrial simplicity compared to the barrel design.
It also enables local thickness optimisation and weight control (thicker on the top and bottom panels where most of the weight stands, and thinner side panels). This design principle makes the aircraft structure optimised and lighter along the fuselage, once again contributing to a lower environmental impact.