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16 July 2014
Commercial Aircraft

The Xtra that makes a difference: Airbus’ busy flight test campaign for the A350 XWB’s service entry this year

Flight demo: A350 XWB 2
Flight demo: A350 XWB 2 Airbus, DOUMENJOU Alexandre - MasterFilms
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15 July 2014

Flight demo: A350 XWB 2

Airbus’ next-generation A350 XWB takes to the skies for another flight presentation at the Farnborough International Airshow

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15 July 2014

Flight demo: A350 XWB 3

The next-generation A350 XWB – which will set new standards for comfort and efficiency when it enters commercial service – is a major component of Airbus’ Farnborough International Airshow presence

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15 July 2014

Flight demo: A350 XWB 1

All eyes are on the Airbus A350 XWB during one of its flight presentations at the 2014 Farnborough International Airport

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Summary

Much can happen in a year. Just look at Airbus’ A350 XWB flight test and certification programme as proof.

Airbus’ “Xtra” work is paying off as the five-aircraft test fleet’s activity remains on-track for this jetliner’s certification in the third quarter, with the first customer delivery – to Qatar Airways – before the end of 2014. 
Making its Farnborough Airshow debut this week, the A350 XWB’s high-profile appearance represents a pause in the busy schedule for one of the jetliners since the no. 1 aircraft’s first flight just over 12 months ago.  
In the year since then, the fleet of development jetliners has accumulated more than 2,200 total flight hours in over 500 flights.  “Since Day One, we’ve had an aircraft that impressed us with its maturity,” explained Fernando Alonso, Head of Airbus Flight & Integration Test Centre. “I really believe that the investment we made in performing up-stream testing as much as possible has paid off.”
Airbus’ advanced modelling and simulations enabled the company to carry out this fast-paced programme, Alonso said, allowing more testing to be conducted on the ground – in some cases before the aircraft performed its maiden takeoff – with the flying evaluations increasingly focused on validation.
Alonso explained that most of the certification tests have now been completed, leading to one of the flight-test campaign’s final steps: the A350 XWB’s upcoming route-proving tour, which will demonstrate the jetliner on typical airline missions.  The fifth A350 XWB – MSN005 – will carry out this “intensive” three-week campaign, visiting a variety of airports in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres while accumulating 180-200 flight hours. 
“We’re very close to the end now,” Alonso said of the flight-test campaign. “It has been an incredible journey!”
Flight demo: A350 XWB 2
 

Airbus’ next-generation A350 XWB takes to the skies for another flight presentation at the Farnborough International Airshow

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