29 November 2012

MSN001 flight test “supercomputer” requires 67km of cables. 50 metre-long & 900kg. electrical harnesses manufactured by Labinal, already installed.

A350 XWB 1st aircraft (MSN001) moved another step closer to its maiden takeoff with installation of 50-metre-long electrical harness for flight test measurements, which – together with 35 electrical cabinets – forms an advanced “supercomputer” known as METRO. 
Outfitted with 40,000 electrical links, the METRO system allows a range of parameters to be measured and recorded during the aircraft’s flight test campaign, with data collected to be used for the A350 XWB’s certification process. METRO will be powered up in coming weeks and will allow 4,500-5,000 measurements to be made. 
The system’s electrical harness, which weighs 900 kg., was installed in October by more than 40 employees from Airbus and the Safran group’s Labinal. Its placement was completed over a weekend to ensure the A350 XWB industrial timetable was not impacted. 
Lessons learnt applied:
For the first time, the harness – with its 67 km. of cables – was installed in high-level raceways.  This approach differs from previous programs where harnesses were run along the floor, and it will eliminate the risk of electrical equipment damage during final assembly line activities. 
The METRO system’s circuit also is more flexible. Electrical cut-offs, which are possible at each of the 35 cabinets, allow them to be disconnected and moved in an easier and faster process. The cabinets – which weigh a combined nine tonnes – will be used by flight test engineers to display parameters being tested and recorded during the flight campaign. 
MSN001 is the first will be joined by 4 additional development aircraft in the flight test campaign, each equipped with different instrumentation to gather the range of information required for certification. 
Based on press release of Airbus "A new A350 XWB production milestone: making way for METRO"

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