Categories: Global Tech News

Airbus A350 XWB to Take First Flight Friday, Looks to Challenge Boeing Dreamliner

Airbus announced that the A350 XWB “MSN1” will make its first flight this Friday.

According to Airbus, the A350 XWB “MSN1” is scheduled to take off from Toulouse-Blagnac airport in France on Friday, June 14, 2013. It will leave around 10:00 a.m. local time. 
 
Last week, Airbus conducted pre-flight tests on the A350 XWB, including firing up of the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

Airbus’ A350 XWB is a family of wide-body, long-range jet airliners that are the first Airbus with wing structures and fuselage made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. The XWB stands for “extra wide body,” and it uses 25 percent less fuel and an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to other aircraft in its size category. 

The A350 XWB has already achieved 613 firm orders from 33 customers worldwide, and will enter into service in the second half of 2014. 

In February of this year, Airbus said it was prepared to use alternatives to lithium-ion batteries for its A350 jets after Boeing’s 787s ran into battery troubles. But overall, Airbus is confident in its battery designs. 

“We identified this fragility at the start of development and we think we resolved it about a year ago,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus CEO. “Nothing prevents us from going back to a classical plan that we have been studying in parallel.   “We have a robust design. If this design has to evolve, we have the time to do that. If it has to change in a more drastic way because the authorities reach the conclusion that the technology is not mature, then we have all the time we need to do this on the A350 before first delivery in the second half of 2014.”

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