Airbus readies A350XWB for tests; Boeing adds Dreamlifter center in N. Charleston

Airbus rolled the first A350 XWB that will fly outside Tuesday to begin the next phase of ground tests.

This first A350, also known as MSN001, recently completed some indoor tests including the stability of movable parts like the rudder, elevators and wing spoilers. After rolling the jet outdoor Tuesday, Airbus will test the aircraft’s fuel tanks and radio equipment as well as conduct pressure testing on the fuselage.

On Tuesday, Airbus’ John Leahy suggested the company is looking to add another A350 assembly line due to demand for the A350-1000, a rival to Boeing’s 777. Leahy didn’t say where the additional capacity for the A350 would be located.

The European jet maker is getting ready to break ground in a few months on a second A320 line in Mobile, Ala. Lawmakers in the state are looking to pass legislation that would put time limits on when lawsuits could be filed against aircraft manufacturers. The move would make it easier for Alabama to attract aerospace suppliers.

Boeing plans to add a Dreamlifter operations center in North Charleston, S.C., reports the Charleston Regional Business Journal. Boeing already is building a similar center in Everett for its fleet of Dreamlifters, which ferry 787 parts from suppliers around the world.

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