The A350 XWB has been given high marks by two Singapore Airlines pilots following a demonstration flight from Changi Airport in this new jetliner – as both praised its commonality with the A380 and A330 they currently fly, while also appreciating new features incorporated in the cockpit.
Taking the controls from the left seat pilot-in-command position, the two aviators were provided a first-hand A350 XWB experience during a weekend evaluation flight performed prior to the Singapore Airshow’s opening.
Captain Quay Chew Eng, the Vice President and Chief Pilot Training at Singapore Airlines – who currently flies the A330 – found the A350 XWB’s handling characteristics to be nearly the same as the rest of Airbus’ fly-by-wire jetliner family, and predicted a nearly seamless transition for pilots to this latest member of the company’s product line.
He said the A350 XWB’s new cockpit features, including the use of six large-format LCD (liquid crystal display) screens to display flight information for improved pilot interface, were “quiet intuitive.”
Captain Gerard Yeap, Singapore Airlines’ Senior Vice President – Flight Operations, said he was immediately comfortable on the A350 XWB flight deck based on his current experience flying the A380.
“The greatest complement to Airbus is that I feel very at home stepping into this cockpit,” he explained after completing the demonstration flight. “It handles, looks and feels like another Airbus.”
Singapore Airlines has booked 70 firm orders for the A350-900 version, making it one of Airbus’ largest customers for the next-generation aircraft.