With a tip of its wings to signal good-bye, the A350 XWB departed Singapore today for its Toulouse, France base of operations, completing a highly successful tour that began in Qatar and wrapped up with a starring appearance at the 2014 Singapore Airshow.
While at Singapore, this A350 XWB – the MSN3 developmental aircraft – literally made headlines as the jetliner was visited by airline customers, pilots, industry executives, the media and others, while also participating in the air show’s daily flying display.
Its non-stop return flight to Toulouse of approximately 15 hours will add to more than 1,000 hours already logged by MSN3 and its sister MSN1 aircraft, which will joined soon by two more A350 XWBs, along with a fifth in May.
For this A350 XWB tour, we’ve been able to combine two goals: the continuation of flight testing, while also presenting the aircraft to the airlines and industry for the first time, said Patrick du Ché, the Head of Development Flight Tests at Airbus. We really enjoyed being at Singapore. And while we’re sad to leave, all of us are ready to return home and continue the progress toward the A350 XWB’s type certification and the startup of deliveries this year.
Before the aircraft was moved from its static display location at Changi Exhibition Centre, there was a final burst of activity as air show attendees lined up to go aboard. For many, this was the first time they visited a developmental aircraft, providing an opportunity to see the extensive flight test instrumentation and systems.
After being transferred to an active runway at the adjacent Changi Airport, the A350 XWB took off and provided its final salute to the 2014 Singapore Airshow before heading home.