First A350 keel beam transferred to St Nazaire

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Airbus's St Nazaire plant has received the first keel beam for the A350-900, a section which, for the first time, has been integrated with the aft lower fuselage shell as a single component.

Comprising 70% composites, the keel beam is built from 2,000 parts and was manufactured at Nantes before being transferred to St Nazaire.

Airbus said the beam, which gives "structural continuity" to the airframe, measures 16.5m (54ft) long by 4.3m wide and weighs 1.2 tonnes.