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The A350 XWB jetliner makes its first flight…virtually

In preparation for the maiden takeoff of Airbus’ new A350 XWB jetliner later this year, the “Aircraft Zero” test bed has started its virtual first flight campaign.

4 February 2013 Feature story

Located at the company’s Toulouse, France headquarters, “Aircraft Zero” brings together the iron bird (a “skeleton” of the aircraft that serves as a full-scale test bench for the electric and hydraulic systems, as well as flight controls) with a simulator representing the A350 XWB’s flight deck.

The ground-based test campaign will last several months and is to simulate the various scenarios that could be encountered during the first flight, while also ensuring the maturity of aircraft systems.

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