Airbus A350 XWB takes to the skies for the first time.
Looking rather naked in its primer only paint job, the Airbus A350 XWB “Ultra Long Range” made its first flight on April 23rd, 2018. For an aircraft that is touted as having the ‘World’s Longest Range’, the first flight was hardly a record breaker as it was only a short test flight. When the Airbus A350 XWB “Ultra Long Range” enters airline service it will have a range capability of 9,700 nautical miles. This extended range is longer than any other aircraft in commercial use.
Singapore Airlines will be the launch partner of the A350 XWB and it will enter service sometime in the second half of 2018. The exact date depends on how the aircraft performs during the testing and certification process.
Singapore Airlines has placed an order for seven of the A350-900XWB Ultra Long Range aircraft, which will be used to provide a non-stop service between Singapore and the US. The new routes will include a service to New York JFK which will be the world’s longest commercial service.
Next Generation of Aircraft
The A350 XWB is an all-new family of widebody long-haul airliners shaping the future of air travel. The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The A350 XWB features an Airspace by Airbus cabin offering absolute well-being on board with the quietest twin-aisle cabin and new air systems.
Pre-Orders make the A350 one of the ‘most successful widebody aircraft ever.’
At the end of March 2018, Airbus has recorded a total of 854 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.
Singapore Airlines is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB Family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s, including the seven Ultra Long Range models. The carrier has already taken delivery of 21 A350-900s.
The aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines has embarked on a short flight test programme to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will extend its range capability to 9,700 nautical miles. These changes include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 litres, without the need for additional fuel tanks. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.
With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 280 tonnes, the Ultra Long Range A350 XWB is capable of flying over 20 hours non-stop, combining the highest levels of passenger and crew comfort with unbeatable economics for such distances.