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Tail emerges

This summer, if the buzz is correct, Airbus will make the first flight of its much-anticipated A350 XWB, a plane designed to directly take on both Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and Boeing's 777.

The A350 is the first major airplane program from Airbus since the A380. And while the first plane has only just been completed, the program got its start in 2006.

In this photograph, the first plane's tail is being pulled out of the Airbus paint hall in Toulouse, France. The tail is 32.8 feet tall.

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First A350 XWB

This is the first Airbus A350 XWB, which in this photograph is being moved from final assembly to its next phase of ground testing.

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A350 XWB cockpit

The flight deck of the first A350 XWB, known as MSN1. The plane is expected to make its first flight sometime this summer.

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First section

The first section of Airbus A350 XWB arrives at the final assembly plant in Toulouse, France.

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Join-up station

Airbus' A350 XWB final assembly line fuselage join-up station features moveable "jigs" designed to handle multiple fuselage lengths for the A350-800, -900, and -1000.

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Trent engines

Airbus turned to Rolls-Royce and its Trent engines to power the A350 XWB. The engines can produce between 74,000 and 84,000 pounds of thrust each, depending on the model.

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A380 test bed

The first flight of the A350 XWB's Rolls-Royce Trent engines was aboard this A380 "test bed."

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Wing and the Beluga

The A350 XWB's wing is offloaded from a Beluga, Airbus' specialized component transport aircraft.

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A350 XWB Wing

This is the first A350 XWB wing, just after delivery to the final assembly plant in Toulouse, France.

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Under the wing

A look at the A350 XWB's wing from in front and underneath.

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Wing join

An Airbus A350 XWB wing is joined to the main fuselage at the final assembly line plant in Toulouse, France.

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Moving to Station 30

The very first A350 XWB is seen here being moved from the final assembly line to what is known as Station 30, the indoor ground test station.

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Singapore

Singapore Airlines became one of the first carriers to order the A350 XWB. All told, Airbus has taken orders for 617 of the airplane.

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A350 XWB Number three

The third A350 XWB is assembled in Toulouse, France.

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Fuselage components

The three main fuselage sections of Airbus' third A350 XWB await being transported to the final assembly line at the plant in Toulouse, France.

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A350 XWB

This is what the Airbus A350 XWB will look like in flight when the airplane gets off the ground, which may be this summer.

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A350 interior

A look at Airbus' vision for what the interior of the A350 XWB could be like when airline customers begin flying the airplane.

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