With the A350-1000 jetliner’s flight test campaign now underway, Airbus is bringing back AIRLINE1 – the simulated airline experience focussing on aircraft maturity and operability, which was successfully introduced during the A350-900 version’s certification process.
AIRLINE1 comprises a dedicated staff that operates a hangar and maintenance control centre in coordination with Airbus’ flight-test team. This allows for daily maintenance, support and repair operations in an environment similar to what the jetliner will experience in commercial service.
For the A350-1000’s flight test campaign, however, AIRLINE 1 has an even sharper focus on visual inspections of the airframe and cabin, according to Philippe Garnier, Head of A350 XWB Maturity & Operability at Airbus.
“We’re reinforcing AIRLINE1 to improve the way we manage potential failures and increase our understanding not just of the aircraft, but of our customers’ world, too,” he said. “Ultimately this is about improving maintenance efficiency, developing effective health monitoring and delivering machines that have the highest-possible levels of maturity to our customers.”
These reinforcements include an operability “test card” that helps recreate an airline’s operating environment. It is boosted by the use of standard operating procedures for pre-flight and cockpit preparation, while referring to airline technical documentation for troubleshooting. Additionally, the health of the A350-1000 flight test fleet will be tracked using Airbus’ AirTHM real-time monitoring, and predictive monitoring will be tested as well.
As the longest-fuselage latest member of Airbus’ all-new A350 XWB widebody family, the A350-1000 offers greater seating capacity and perfectly matches market needs with a larger premium area to accommodate first class and business class travellers. The no. 1 A350-1000 performed its maiden flight from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France last month, and is one of three aircraft that will participate in the new jetliner’s flight test and certification campaign.