Airbus A350 Closer To Inaugration

The Airbus A350-900 has successfully completed a series of Route Proving trials following a tour of 14 global cities.

The A350 XWB completed its Route Proving after landing in Toulouse, France, last week, thereby demonstrating its readiness for airline operations on a global scale.

The exercise took the flight test aircraft, MSN 005, across the globe on a 20-day trip flying over the North Pole, each ocean and stopping at 14 major international airports world-wide. During its World Tour, the aircraft flew approximately 151,300km in some 180 flight hours, with all flights performing on schedule, and at each destination checks were made on standard maintenance as well as typical airport operations and compatibility.

The aircraft was operated by Airbus flight crews as well as Qatar flight crews on the route from Doha to Perth, Moscow and Helsinki. The Airworthiness Authority pilots from the European Aviation Safety Agency also participated and flew the aircraft on two legs.

The flights from Johannesburg to Sydney and Auckland to Santiago de Chile demonstrated the aircraft’s capability to operate at high altitude airports, such as OR Tambo, and fly ultra-long-haul routes or Extended range Twin Operations (ETOPS).

“The aircraft has performed remarkably well confirming the high level of maturity that it has been demonstrating all the way during our development and certification tests. We are set for the Type Certification in the coming weeks, as planned”, said Fernando Alonso, senior vice president flight & integration tests.

This last series of trials is required for Type Certification, which is expected in Q3 this year.

The A350 XWB is the latest addition to the Airbus Widebody line, offering customers a 25% reduction in fuel-burn. The all-new mid-size long-range A350 XWB Family comprises three versions with seat capacity ranging from 276 to 369. At the end of June 2014, the A350 XWB had won 742 orders from 38 customers worldwide.