The first A350-1000 took off on 24th November for its maiden flight at Blagnac in Toulouse, France at 10.42 hrs local time. The A350-1000 is Airbus’ largest and most powerful twin-engined airliner.
The crew in the cockpit on board this flight include Hugues Van Der Stichel, Experimental Test Pilot; Frank Chapman, Experimental Test Pilot and Gerard Maisonneuve, Test-Flight Engineer. Monitoring all the test parameters at the Flight-Test-Instrumentation (FTI) station behind the cockpit are: Patrick du Ché, Head of Flight & Integration Tests; Emanuele Costanzo, Head of A350 Development Flight Tests; and Stéphane Vaux, Flight-Test Engineer.
Thanks to the experience of the original A350-900 test campaign, the A350-1000’s development programme will be shorter – less than one year for the three aircraft involved in the flight test programme. The new large twin is scheduled to enter airline service in the second half of 2017.
The A350-1000 features a 7m fuselage stretch to accommodate 40 more passengers than the A350-900, along with a modified wing trailing-edge, new six-wheel main landing gears and more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. The overall length of the aircraft is 73.78m.
In a typical three-class configuration, featuring Airbus’ 18-inch-wide economy class seats, the A350-1000 can accommodate a total of 366 passengers and offers a range of 7,950 nautical miles. The aircraft also can be configured for a higher-density layout for up to 440 passengers.
To date 11 customers from five continents have placed orders for a total of 195 A350-1000s. The A350-900 has accumulated 599 orders to date, while the smaller -800 version has attracted just 16 orders.