Airbus A350 WB nearing development


The first A350 XWB to fly has landed back at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France, after successfully completing its first flight that lasted four hours and five minutes.

The aircraft was flown by Peter Chandler, Airbus chief test pilot, and Guy Magrin, project pilot for the A350 XWB.

The A350 XWB, integrating the latest available technologies, is now entering its final stage of its development. It is also ready to head toward certification and entry-into-service in the second half of next year.

For its first flight, the A350 XWB—carrying the registration F-WXWB—took off at around 221 tons. During the flight, which took the aircraft around south western France, the crew explored the aircraft’s flight envelope.

The aircraft was accompanied by a chase plane to observe and film the various maneuvers. Its progress was monitored by experts on the ground.

This maiden flight marks the beginning of a rigorous test flight campaign involving five A350s, and around 2,500 flight hours. It will culminate in the aircraft’s certification followed by its entry into airline service in the second half of 2014 with first operator Qatar Airways.

The A350 XWB is the all-new mid-size long-range product line comprising three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in spacious three-class layouts.

The new family of aircraft will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category, using 25 percent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.


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