Design and manufacturing of the A350XWB MLGB Bulkhead

A good example of our composite structures design and production capabities

With over 50% of its structure in composite material, the A350 XWB represents the commitment of Airbus and the aerospace industry for less weight and therefore lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions aircraft. The A350, recently certified, has the first MLGB pressure bulkhead made in composite, and has been designed and manufactured by Aernnova.

In late 2008, Aernnova took part in the Joint Definition Phase at the Sogerma and Airbus offices in Toulouse in order to begin design work.


  • In two months we had to provide a preliminary design for Maturity A.
  • The bulkhead was first necessary to begin the final assembly of the entire structure A350XWB. If it failed, it could delay the entire program.
  • Advanced analysis tools were prepared for considering pressure’s nonlinear effect on the composite material. In fact, critical failures were identified although they were not in metal.
  • The bulkhead is the most complex area regarding structural and systems integration, because of its critical role within the aircraft.
  • Assembly during the different stages (Illescas, Rochefort, Saint Nazaire and Toulouse FAL), inspectability, maintainability and repairability had to be guaranteed.


  • We had to adjust all the design details to ensure the manufacturability of the parts with ATL and combined weight objectives achivement: Innovative designs were included in order to meet our goal of 15% less weight than in the previous metal design.
  • structural tests campaign was defined and managed, including bay pressurization. All trials had satisfactory results providing valuable expertise to the project team.
  • After more than 20 aircraft delivered the lack of problems is an evidence of the quality of product design.

The culmination of this ambitious project has come with the recent certification of the 900 version of the A350XWB

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A350 XWB program work packages

  • A350 XWB Airbus

    A350 XWB

    Design & Build

    • Estabilizador horizontal (composites)
    • Timón de profundidad (composites)
    • Mamparo de presión (composites). Cliente: Sogerma

    Build to Print

    • Timón de dirección
    • Puertas de pasajeros 2 y 4

    Design to Build

    • Borde de Salida Fijo. Cliente: GE Aviation

Learn more about Aernnova