In order to go beyond certification requirements and testing to the extremes the first ever Airbus A350 XWB to visit the United States, MSN (manufacturer’s serial number) 2 has arrived at McKinley Climatic Lab at Eglin Air Force base in northwest Florida. Over the next couple of weeks the aircraft and its various systems and cabin installations will be subjected to the extreme hot and cold temperatures that the unique facility can sustain in a testing environment. These tests come on top of those already performed earlier this year in the Middle East and Northern Canada to ensure maturity and full in-service readiness from Day 1 for all A350 XWB’s operators.
There are currently four test aircraft flying in the A350 XWB programme. Together they have accumulated around 1,600 flight test hours in more than 350 flights. The certification process for the programme is progressing on schedule – certification is anticipated in the third quarter of 2014 with entry into service in the fourth quarter of this year.