The Graceful Sharklet of Airbus A350 XWB

Sharklet of Airbus A350 XWB

The “sharklets,” the signature blended winglets, on the new Airbus A350-XWB sweep 5.20m from its leading-edge attachment to its rear tip and give the aircraft a total wingspan of 64.8m (212ft).

Customarily, wingtip devices are arrow-shaped surfaces attached to the tip of each wing of a fixed-wing aircraft. They improve the overall efficiency of aircraft by reducing aerodynamic drag through partial recovery of the tip vortex energy. This results in saving fuel, lowering noise emissions, and improving take-off performance. Wingtip devices also enhance aircraft handling characteristics and improve safety for aircraft following the aircrafts with wingtip devices.

Airbus A350 Sharklets reduce aerodynamic drag

Blended winglets are special types of wingtip devices that are attached to the wing with smooth curve instead of a sharp angle. Blended winglets aim to reduce interference drag at the seams between the wings and the winglets.

Airbus pioneered the use of wingtip devices beginning with the Airbus A300 and Airbus A310 jetliner programs. Both the Airbus A300 and the Airbus A310 aircraft were fitted with wingtip fences that helped trim down the effects of the aerodynamic drag created by the spiral-shaped vortices at the wingtips of any aircraft during flight.

Airbus A350 Sharklets Blended winglets

Recommended Reading

The Shared History of Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines

Malayan Airways Limited (MAL)

In the year 1947, the Malayan Airways Limited (MAL) was established with an initial fleet of twin-engined Airspeed Consuls. The first scheduled Malayan Airways flight took place in May 1947 with an Airspeed Consul aircraft carrying five passengers onboard. Passengers helped themselves with the only refreshment made available for the passengers: a flask of iced water. Malayan Airways offered services between Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, and Penang.

Twin-engined Airspeed Consul, Malayan Airways Limited

In 1963, it was renamed Malaysian Airways Limited with the formation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. In 1966, the Government of Malaysia and the Government of Singapore jointly acquired controlling stakes in the airline and renamed it a year later as Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) Limited when Singapore separated from the Federation of Malaysia.

In January 1971, the Government of Malaysia and the Government of Singapore decided to break up Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) and start separate state airlines. Malaysia-Singapore Airlines ceased operations on 1-Oct-1972 and was succeeded by Singapore-based Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Kuala Lumpur-based Malaysia Airlines System (MAS).

'Flying High in a Competitive Industry: Secrets of the World's Leading Airline' by Loizos Heracleous, Jochen Wirtz, Nitin Pangarkar (ISBN 0071281967) Recommended Reading: ‘Flying High in a Competitive Industry: Secrets of the World’s Leading Airline’ by Loizos Heracleous, Jochen Wirtz, Nitin Pangarkar. ‘Flying High’ chronicles how the very inventive management grew from the airline from the humblest of beginnings into an industry leader. Singapore Airlines (SIA) is now arguably the most respected airline in the world, one of the most admired companies in the world, and frequently wins international awards for top-flight quality and service.

Airbus A350 XWB Prestige Private VIP Jet: Cabin Layout & Concept Pictures

Airbus Executive and Private Aviation is a division of Airbus that produces private, VIP, corporate, and business jets. The smallest aircraft in Airbus’s VIP jet-portfolio is the A318 Elite and the biggest is the double- or triple-decked Airbus A380 Prestige. The Airbus A350 “Prestige” is based on the A350-900 XWB model. John Leahy, the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Commercial Officer of Airbus has reiterated that “the A350 is already very successful with airline customers and leasing companies. We are also convinced that it is ideal for heads of states, government officials and other VIPS for their long-distance travel, as it offers both the cabin space as well as the range to comfortably reach virtually any part of the world non stop.”

Airbus A350 XWB Prestige Cabin Layout Plan

Airbus A350 XWB Prestige Cabin Layout Plan

A350 Prestige Cabin Concept

Airbus A350 XWB Prestige Cabin Concept: Dining and Conference Room

Airbus A350 XWB Prestige Cabin Concept

Airbus A350 XWB Prestige Cabin Concept: Master Bedroom

Airbus A350 XWB Prestige Display

Airbus A350 XWB Prestige Display with Cabin Cutout

MAZ Aviation Consultants (MAZAV,) a prominent aviation consulting firm in the Middle East, contracted to purchase six Airbus A350 XWB Prestige aircrafts in 2008. The aircraft are to extend VIP cabins, and are operated by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. They are to include an advanced and efficient aerodynamic design, with more than 50% of the airframe created of weight-saving carbon fiber composites. MAZ Aviation chairman Mohammed Alzeer expressed, “The kind of private customer that buys a VIP wide body wants the very best, and that’s exactly what they get with the Airbus A350 XWB Prestige. With more cabin space, more range, and a more modern design, the Airbus A350 XWB is the VIP widebody of the future.”

Airbus ACJ350 XWB VIP Private Jet

Airbus ACJ350 XWB VIP Private Jet

In May 2016, Airbus announced the launch of a new corporate-jet adaptation of its trendy A350 XWB aircraft, with possibilities for cabin furnishing. Christened the ACJ350 XWB, this private aircraft features 270 square meters (roughly 3000 square feet) of cabin space in the A350-900 version. An ultra-long range variation can fly 25 passengers up to 10,800 nm (roughly 20,000 km) nonstop for an incredible 22 hours!

Wide-body private aircraft like the ACJ350 present customers with an abundance of floor space, consequently allowing corporate and VIP customers to create cabins that not only meet challenging certification rules but also unprecedented comfort at reasonable total cost of ownership. The ACJ350’s carbon fiber fuselage comes equipped with hundreds of attachment points which can significantly streamline the work of cabin-outfitters.

Airbus ACJ350 XWB VIP Prestige In Airbus’s press release, John Leahy, Airbus’s Chief Operating Officer for Customers, said, “One of Airbus’s greatest strengths is to offer customers the world’s most modern and efficient aircraft family, and the ACJ350 with Easyfit expands its corporate jet offering, giving customers a new way to take their business to the world. Our customers want the best and most modern aircraft that money can buy, and the ACJ350 exemplifies that.”

Airbus has over 180 Airbus corporate jets in commission around the world and is famed for the aircrafts’ extensive nature and versatility.

Lockheed L-1011 TriStar: Economy Class Seating Cross-Sections

Lockheed L-1011 TriStar

During the early 1960s, Lockheed Corporation, now part of Lockheed Martin, had retreated from the civil airliners market because of recurring problems and early-life crashes of the Lockheed L-188 Electra, the first large turboprop airliner produced in the United States.

In response to interest by American Airlines and other airlines that wanted an aircraft smaller than the Boeing 747, but with the ability to carry large passenger loads on medium haul routes, Lockheed decided to develop the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly known as the L-1011 or TriStar. It was a medium-to-long range, wide-body trijet aircraft. Incidentally, The L-1011 was the third wide-body airliner to enter commercial operations, after the Boeing 747 and the competing trijet McDonnell Douglas DC-10.

Despite an innovative set of features that included automatic landing capabilities, an automated descent control system, and purported cabin space, the TriStar was a commercial failure. The TriStar’s sales were hampered by two years of delays due to developmental and financial problems at engine supplier Rolls-Royce. Lockheed manufactured a total of 250 Tri-Star’s until 1984 and withdrew from the commercial aircraft business due to its below-target sales. This ultimately led to the current Airbus-Boeing duopoly with after Boeing acquired McDonnell Douglas in 1997.

Lockheed L-1011 TriStar Key Statistics

  • Manufacturer: Lockheed, now part of Lockheed Martin
  • Power plant: 3 engines Rolls-Royce RB-211-22B turbofans
  • Passenger Accommodations: upto 345
  • Flight altitude: 42,000 feet
  • Flight range: 3,300 miles
  • First flight: 16-Nov-1970
  • Primary customers: British Airways, Trans World Airlines (TWA,) Delta Air Lines, and Eastern Air Lines
  • Number of frames built: 250 between 1968 and 1984

Economy Class Seating Cross-Sections

9 Abreast 3-4-2 seating with Wider Aisles

9 Abreast 3-4-2 seating with Wider Aisles : Economy Cross-Section on the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar

9 Abreast 3-4-2 seating with Wider Seats

9 Abreast 3-4-2 seating with Wider Seats : Economy Cross-Section on the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar

9 Abreast 2-5-2 seating with Narrower Aisles

9 Abreast 2-5-2 seating with Narrower Aisles : Economy Cross-Section on the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar

9 Abreast 3-4-3 seating with Narrow Aisles

10 Abreast 3-4-3 seating with Narrow Aisles : Economy Cross-Section on the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar

History and Operations of Delta Airlines’ Scissors Hub at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT)

Delta Airlines Scissors Hub at Tokyo Narita

Delta Airlines Boeing 757-200 aircraft in Tokyo Narita Airport

Delta Airlines operates a scissors hub at Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT.) Delta inherited a majority of its Tokyo Narita operations in 2008 following its merger with Northwest Airlines. Before the merger, Delta Airlines had been operating flights from the United States to Tokyo since 1987. Currently, Delta also operates flights from the United States and Asia-Pacific to Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport (HND,) Nagoya’s Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO,) and Osaka’s Kansai International Airport (KIX.)

Northwest Orient Airlines Advertisement: Great Circle Route

History of Northwest Airlines and Flights to Japan

Northwest Orient Airlines (as Northwest Airlines marketed itself for these routes) had first established its service to Japan and onward in 1947 as part of its ‘Great Circle’ route between the United States and Asia. Northwest Orient initially formed its hub in Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport (HND, then Haneda Air Force Base,) and operated flights to China, South Korea, and the Philippines.

Northwest Orient Airlines Advertisement: Orient Express Route

  • On 15-Jul-1947, Northwest made flew a Douglas DC-4 aircraft named “The Manila” from Wold-Chamberlain Field (formerly part of the full name of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport MSP) in Minneapolis, via Blatchford Field in Edmonton (Calgary,) via Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage (Alaska,) via Eareckson Air Station (then Shemya AAF) in the Aleutian Islands (Alaska,) landed in Haneda Air Force Base, and continued to Lunghwa Airport in Shanghai and onward to Nichols Field at Manila.
  • On 20-Oct-1947, Northwest flew between Tokyo and Seoul’s Gimpo Airport.
  • On 16-Nov-1947, Northwest made a transit stop in Okinawa’s Naha Airport on its way to Manila’s Nichols Field.
  • On 3-Jun-1950, Northwest added Taipei’s Songshan Airport on the Tokyo-Okinawa-Manila route.
  • In 1951, Northwest helped found Japan Air Lines (JAL) by supplying aircrafts on lease and crewmembers to the new airline.
  • In 1952, a bilateral aviation accord between the United States and Japan made Northwest Airlines and Pan American World Airways as two US-based airlines allowed to fly from the United States to Tokyo. As part of the bilateral agreement, Northwest also procured fifth-freedom rights to carry passengers between Tokyo and Seoul (Korea,) Busan (Korea,) Taipei (Taiwan,) Manila (Philippines,) Hong Kong, Bangkok (Thailand,) Singapore, and the US territories of Guam and Saipan.
  • In 1978 when the New Tokyo International Airport (now called the Narita International Airport NRT) opened as the principal international airport in Tokyo, Northwest shifted its hub from Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport to Narita.

Delta Airlines Flights from United States to its Tokyo Narita Hub

Delta Flights from Various United States Cities to Tokyo Narita

  • Atlanta to Tokyo Narita. Delta flight 295 operates from Delta’s hub in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT.) The return flight is Delta 296. The aircraft used on this route is usually a Boeing 747-400. These flight numbers also operate between Tokyo Narita and Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Detroit to Tokyo Narita. Delta flight 275 operates from Detroit’s Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT.) The return flight is Delta 276. Delta’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft usually fly DL 275 and DL 276. Detroit is Delta’s primary Asian gateway hub. Delta also flies to Nagoya’s Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO) from Detroit.
  • Honolulu to Tokyo Narita. Delta flights 579 and 639 operate from Honolulu International Airport (HNL) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT.) The return flights are Delta 578 and 638. DL 579 and DL 578 are operated using Delta’s Boeing 767-300ER aircraft while DL 639 and DL 638 are operated using Delta’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita. Delta flight 283 operates from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT.) The return flight is Delta 284. Delta currently uses Boeing 777-200LR on this route. Flights DL 283 and DL 284 are also used for flights between Tokyo Narita and Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. Delta also flies to Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport (HND) from Los Angeles.
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul to Tokyo Narita. Delta flight 621 operates from its hub Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT.) The return flight is Delta 622. This route is presently operated using a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. Further, these flight numbers are also used for Delta’s flights between Tokyo and Singapore.
  • New York to Tokyo Narita. Delta flight 173 operates from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK,) it’s gateway hub in New York City, to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT.) The return flight is Delta 172. Delta usually flies a Boeing 747-400 on this route.
  • Portland to Tokyo Narita. Delta flight 617 operates from Portland International Airport (PDX) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT.) The return flight is Delta 618. This 4822-nautical mile route is flown using a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.
  • San Francisco to Tokyo Narita. Delta flight 209 operates from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT.) DL 209 and the return flight, DL 208, are currently operated using a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.
  • Seattle to Tokyo Narita. Delta flight 155 operates from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT.) The return flight is Delta 156. Delta usually uses a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft between Seattle and Narita. Delta also flies to Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport (HND) from Seattle.

Delta Airlines Flights from its Tokyo Narita Hub to Asia-Pacific

Delta Flights from Tokyo Narita to Various Destinations in Asia-Pacific

  • From Tokyo Narita to Bangkok, Thailand. Delta flight 284 operates from Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK.) The return flight is Delta 283. Delta’s Boeing 777-200LR currently operate between Tokyo and Bangkok.
  • From Tokyo Narita to Beijing, China. Delta flight 618 operates from Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK.) The return flight is Delta 617. Currently, Delta uses a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft between Tokyo and Beijing Capital. Note that Delta also operates Boeing 777-200 aircraft non-stop between Detroit and Beijing and another 767-300ER between Seattle-Tacoma and Beijing Capital airport.
  • From Tokyo Narita to Guam. Delta operates two flights from Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Guam’s Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport (GUM.) DL 97 and DL 649 operate on the outbound and DL 96 and DL 648 operate the inbound. All four flights of Delta’s flights between Tokyo and Guam are operated using Boeing 757-200 aircraft. Delta also operates 757-200 from Guam to Nagoya’s Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO) and Osaka’s Kansai International Airport (KIX.)
  • From Tokyo Narita to Hong Kong. Delta flight 156 operates from Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG.) The return flight is Delta 155. Currently, this route is operated using a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. These flight numbers are also used for Delta flights between Seattle and Tokyo.
  • From Tokyo Narita to Manila, Philippines. Delta flight 172 operates from Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL.) The return flight is Delta 173. Delta usually flies a Boeing 747-400 on this route. Delta also operates another Boeing 747-400 between Manila and Nagoya’s Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO.)
  • From Tokyo Narita to Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. Delta flight 297 operates from Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Saipan International Airport (SPN.) Saipan is the largest of the Northern Mariana Islands, an unincorporated territory of the United States. The return flight is Delta 298. Delta also operates flights 287 and 288 on this route. Delta operates its Boeing 757-200 aircraft between Tokyo and Saipan. Delta also flies between Saipan and Nagoya (NGO) using a 757-200.
  • From Tokyo Narita to Shanghai, China. Delta flight 296 operates from Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport (PVG.) The return flight is Delta 295. Currently, an Airbus 330-300 operates between Tokyo and Shanghai. Delta also operates a non-stop Boeing 777-200 service between Shanghai Pudong and Detroit.
  • From Tokyo Narita to Singapore. Delta flight 622 operates from Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN.) The return flight is Delta 621. Delta currently uses Boeing 777-200LR on this route. Currently, these flight numbers are also used between Narita and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
  • From Tokyo Narita to Taipei, Taiwan. Delta flight 276 operates from Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE.) The return flight is Delta 275. Delta’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft usually fly DL 275 and DL 276; the same flight numbers are used on the flights between Tokyo Narita and Detroit. From Taipei, Delta also flies the Delta’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft directly to/from San Francisco and Los Angeles.

References

Timeline of the Airbus A350 XWB (Xtra Wide Body) Program including Orders-History

first A350-900 XWB (MSN001, tail number F-WXWB) emerged from Airbus's paint shop on 13-May-2013.

  • On 16-Sep-2004, Airbus top executive Noel Forgeard confirmed that Airbus had proposed a new twin-aisle mid-size aircraft to customers. This adaptation of the A350 resembled the A330 in fuselage cross-section and assembly, but with new engines, new wings, new horizontal stabilizer, and additional composite materials. For years, Airbus had publicly cast off the threat of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the Airbus A330.
  • On 10-Dec-2004, the boards of EADS and BAE Systems, who then owned 80% and 20% of Airbus respectively, approved the “authorization to offer (ATO)” for the now- called A350.
  • On 13-Jun-2005, at the 2005 Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget Airport north of Paris, Qatar Airways announced an order for 60 A350s.
  • On 06-Oct-2005, Airbus announced the full industrial launch of the A350. The aircraft was to be first available in two versions: the A350-800 (8,800 nmi, 253 passengers in a three-class configuration) and the A350-900 (7,500 nmi, 300 passengers in a three-class configuration.)
  • On 28-Mar-2006, the President of aircraft lessor Infrastructure Leasing and Finance (ILFC) Steven F. Udvar-Hazy publicly derided the Airbus’ strategy as a poor reaction to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
  • On 30-Mar-2006, Finland’s Finnair became the first airline to place a firm order for the A350. It ordered 11 A350-900s with an option for four more A350 XWBs.
  • On 22-Jun-2006, Singapore’s Singapore Airlines ordered 20 A350-900s.

A350 XWB wider fuselage to accommodate 10-abreast seating in high-density configuration

  • On 14-Jul-2006, at the Farnborough Airshow in Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, England, Airbus presented a redesigned aircraft now called the A350 XWB (Xtra-Wide-Body.) The A350 XWB included a wider fuselage cross-section that could accommodate 10-abreast seating in high-density configuration. All twin-aisle Airbus aircrafts (A300, A310, A330, and the A340) had a common cross-section that could accommodate eight-abreast seating in standard configurations.
  • On 01-Dec-2006, the board of directors of Airbus approved the industrial launch of the A350 XWB. The aircraft was available in two variants: the A350-800 (8,480 nmi, 270 passengers in a three-class configuration) and the A350-900 (8,100 nmi — 10,300 nmi, 314 passengers in a three-class configuration.)
  • On 04-Jan-2007, Aircraft lessor Pegasus Aviation ordered two A350-800s.
  • On 18-Jun-2007, during the 2007 Paris Airshow at the Le Bourget Airport north of Paris, Aircraft lessor Aviation Lease and Finance Company ordered 12 A350-900s with an option for six more A350 XWBs.
  • On 18-Jun-2007, Qatar’s Qatar Airways ordered 80 A350 XWBs: 20 A350-800s, 40 A350-900s, and 20 A350-1000s at Paris Airshow.
  • On 20-Jun-2007, Aeroflot Russian Airlines from Russia ordered 18 A350-800s, and 4 A350-900s.
  • On 20-Jun-2007, Libya’s Afriqiyah Airways ordered six A350-800s.
  • On 20-Jun-2007, Aircraft lessor CIT Group ordered five A350-900s.
  • On 20-Jun-2007, Kingfisher Airlines from India ordered five A350-800s.
  • On 05-Oct-2007, America’s US Airways ordered 18 A350-800s, and 4 A350-900s.
  • On 26-Oct-2007, Aircraft lessor ILFC ordered 6 A350-800s, and 14 A350-900s.
  • On 11-Nov-2007, Dubai’s Emirates ordered 120 A350 XWBs: 50 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s with an option for 50 more A350 XWBs.
  • On 13-Nov-2007, Yemen’s Yemenia ordered 10 A350-800s.
  • On 14-Nov-2007, a VIP customer ordered one A350-900.
  • On 26-Nov-2007, Portugal’s TAP Portugal ordered 12 A350-900s with an option for three more A350 XWBs.
  • On 28-Nov-2007, America’s Hawaiian Airlines ordered six A350-800s, with an option for six more A350 XWBs.

first A350-900 XWB (MSN001, tail number F-WXWB) emerged from Airbus's paint shop on 13-May-2013.

  • On 10-Dec-2007, Libya’s Libyan Airlines ordered four A350-800s.
  • On 21-Dec-2007, Vietnam Airlines from Vietnam ordered 10 A350-900s with an option for two more A350 XWBs.
  • On 21-Jan-2008, Avianca from Columbia ordered 10 A350-900s with an option for 10 more A350 XWBs.
  • On 22-Jan-2008, Taiwan’s China Airlines ordered 14 A350-900s with an option for six more A350 XWBs.
  • On 13-Feb-2008, TAM Airlines from Brazil ordered 27 A350-900s with an option for 10 more A350 XWBs.
  • On 11-Apr-2008, Ireland’s Aer Lingus ordered nine A350-900s with an option for six more A350 XWBs.
  • On 04-Jun-2008, Italy’s Alitalia ordered 12 A350-800s with an option for 12 more A350 XWBs.
  • On 09-Jul-2008, Airbus began wind tunnel testing for the A350.
  • On 14-Jul-2008, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways ordered 12 A350-1000s with an option for 10 more A350 XWBs.
  • On 15-Jul-2008, Tunisair from Tunisia ordered three A350-800s.
  • On 16-Jul-2008, Korea’s Asiana Airlines ordered 30 aircrafts: 8 A350-800s, 12 A350-900s, and 10 A350-1000s with an option for 10 more A350 XWBs.
  • On 17-Jul-2008, a VIP customer ordered one A350-900.
  • On 13-Jan-2009, Airbus began construction on the Final Assembly Line (FAL) for the Airbus A350 XWB model. Once the plant hits full production, the FAL is expected to employ some 1,500 people, build ten aircraft a month beginning 2018, and have an area of 74,000 square meters.
  • On 16-Jun-2009, AirAsia from Malaysia ordered 10 A350-900s with an option for five more A350 XWBs.
  • On 29-Sep-2009, Airbus successfully tested the wing tester (“demo box 2”) on an installation of the wings of the A350 XWB.
  • On 15-Nov-2009, Ethiopia’s Ethiopian Airlines ordered 12 A350-900s.
  • On 10-Mar-2010, America’s United Airlines ordered 25 A350-900s with an option for 50 more A350 XWBs.
  • On 13-May-2010, Airbus launched three-dimensional validation of the A350 XWB electrical harness installation. It was problems with installation of the electrical harnesses that delayed the delivery of A380 to customers.

Rolls-Royce Trent XWB test engine on an A380 'flying-testbed'

  • On 04-Aug-2010, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific ordered 36 A350-900s.
  • On 13-Oct-2010, a second Hong Kong-based airline, Hong Kong Airlines, ordered 15 A350-900s.
  • On 04-Nov-2010, China’s Air China ordered 10 A350-900s.
  • On 12-Nov-2010, Airbus announced that the first delivery date of the A350-900, the first model to be developed, had slipped from mid-2013 to the second half of 2013 due to the “transition phase from design to manufacturing is a bit longer.”
  • On 18-Jun-2011, Airbus and Rolls-Royce declared the development of the A350-1000 XWB model (8,420 nmi, 350 passengers in a three-class configuration) with powerful Trent XWB engines capable of delivering 97,000 pounds of thrust.
  • On 11-Aug-2011, Thai Airways from Thailand ordered four A350-900s.
  • On 23-Dec-2011, Airbus began assembly of the fuselage the first A350-900 XWB (MSN1) in Toulouse, France.
  • On 18-Feb-2012, Airbus and Rolls-Royce successfully tested the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB test engine on an A380 “flying-testbed.” The test aircraft conducted tests at different altitudes and speeds. The A380 reached a maximum altitude of 43,000 feet and maximum speed of Mach .9 (1102 kph).
  • On 05-Apr-2012, Airbus began final assembly of the first A350-900 XWB (MSN1) in Toulouse, France.
  • On 08-Aug-2012, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific converted 16 A350-900s from an earlier order to the -1000 model, and ordered 10 more A350-1000s.
  • On 01-Oct-2012, Libya’s Afriqiyah Airways cancelled six A350-800s and ordered 10 A350-900s.

Airbus transferred the A350 XWB static test airframe to a test facility for validation of the A350 airframe.

  • On 23-Nov-2012, Airbus transferred the A350 XWB static test airframe to a test facility for validation of the A350 airframe.
  • On 03-Dec-2012, Qatar Airways converted their original order of 20 A350-800s, 40 A350-900s, and 20 A350-1000s to 43 A350-900s and 37 A350-1000s. For several years, Boeing’s marketing campaign has tried to cast doubt on the viability of the A350-800 model. Airbus has tried to switch customers to the -900 model casting doubt about the future of the -800 model.
  • On 13-Dec-2012, Singapore’s Singapore Airlines ordered 20 A350-900s. This was a repeat order from the world’s premier airline.
  • On 03-Jan-2013, Aircraft lessor CIT Group ordered 10 A350-900s.
  • On 04-Feb-2013, Aircraft lessor Air Lease ordered 20 A350-900s and 5 A350-1000s with an option for five more A350 XWBs.
  • On 07-Feb-2013, the European Aviation Safety Agency certified the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB Turbofans.
  • On 15-Feb-2013, Airbus reverted to proven nickel cadmium main batteries to avoid unnecessary delays to the A350 program’s timeline.

Final Assembly and Preparations for First Flight

  • A350 XWB final assembly facility groundbreaking ceremony, 14-Jan-2009 On 14-Jan-2009, Airbus held a groundbreaking ceremony for the A350 XWB final assembly facility in Toulouse, France. This assembly line (FAL,) built close to the existing A330-A340 production line, was scheduled to be completed during the third quarter of 2010. Once the plant would hit full production, the FAL is expected to employ some 1,500 people, build ten aircraft a month beginning 2018, and have an area of 74,000 square meters.
  • On 19-Feb-2013, Airbus began final assembly of the third A350 XWB (MSN3.)
  • On 26-Mar-2013, Airbus completed installation of the flight-ready Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and the Honeywell GHT1700 APU on the first flight-test A350-900 XWB. The A350-900 aircraft MSN1 became a finished aircraft to be handed to the Flight Test Team after additional testing and painting.
  • On 22-Apr-2013, Aircraft lessor International Airlines Group ordered 18 A350-1000s with an option for 18 more A350 XWBs.
  • On 30-Apr-2013, Airbus’s tabulation of orders and deliveries showed that a VIP customer had cancelled orders for one A350-900.
  • On 13-May-2013, the first A350-900 XWB (MSN001, tail number F-WXWB) emerged from Airbus’s paint shop. Speculation intensified that Airbus might attempt first flight by the middle of June and debut its aircraft at the 2013 Paris Airshow at the Le Bourget Airport north of Paris.
  • On 30-May-2013, Singapore Airlines announced a firm order for 30 more A350-900s and options for 20 more A350 XWB aircraft. According to the terms of the deal, Singapore Airlines could choose either the A350-900 or the A350-1000 model when exercising the 20 options. This third order from Singapore Airlines for the Airbus A350 XWB (Xtra Wide Body) brought the total A350 XWBs ordered by Singapore Airlines to 70 firm orders and 20 options for the A350-900.
  • On 2-Jun-2013, Airbus fired up the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and the Honeywell Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) on the first A350-900 XWB aircraft (MSN001 / F-WXWB) in preparation for the aircraft’s debut flight. Airbus also released the A350 XWB Magazine App for iPads and Androids in preparation to use social media for publicity for the A350’s first flight.
  • On 07-Jun-2013, in a video posted by Rupa Haria of Aviation Week magazine, Airbus’s A350XWB project test pilot Frank Chapman confirmed that MSN001 / F-WXWB had completed taxi tests on 05-Jun-2013. Having completed the high-power runs of the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines previously, the test flight department planned to perform high-speed taxi speeds in preparation for first flight. Aircraft prototypes typically undergo a two day-long full engineering check after high-speed taxi tests before first flight.
  • Airbus A350-900 XWB First Flight ((MSN001, F-WXWB)) on 14-Jun-2013On 12-Jun-2013, Airbus confirmed that the first flight of the A350-900 XWB was planned for 14-Jun-2013 (Friday) pending final pre-first flight tests and inspections. Subject to favorable weather conditions, MSN001 / F-WXWB was planned to take off from the Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in Southern France at 10:00 AM. Airbus had scheduled the A350’s first flight three days before the opening of the 2013 edition of the Paris Air Show (Salon international de l’aeronautique et de l’espace, Paris-Le Bourget) where the A350 XWB was expected to perform a simple fly-past.

Airbus A350 XWB First Flight (14-Jun-2013)

A350 XWB Pre-flight First Flight

Airbus A350 First Flight Crew Boarding MSN001 on 14-Jun-2013

Airbus A350 First Flight Telemetry

Airbus's first A350-900 XWB (MSN001, F-WXWB) liftoff on 14-Jun-2013

Airbus's first A350-900 XWB (MSN001, F-WXWB) first flight on 14-Jun-2013

Initial flight tracking for first flight of A350-900 XWB

A350 XWB First Flight Fly-by

A350 XWB First Flight over Tolouse City

A350 XWB First Flight Landing

A350 XWB First Flight Landing Taxiing

A350 XWB First Flight Reception

During and at the Paris Air Show 2013

A350 XWB at the Paris Air Show 2013

The 50th edition of the Paris Air Show was held from 10-Jun-2013 through 14-Jun-2013 at the Le Bourget airport outside of Paris, France. Airbus won US$68.7 billion-worth of aircraft orders during the airshow.

  • On 19-Jun-2013, Air France-KLM, the Paris-based French-Dutch airline holding company and parent of both Air France and KLM ordered 25 A350-900 aircraft with options for 25 more A350-900 aircraft.
  • On 19-Jun-2013, Sri Lanka’s state-owned Sri Lankan Airlines ordered four A350-900 aircraft.
  • On 19-Jun-2013, Airbus flew the A350-900 XWB prototype (MSN001, F-WXWB) on its second test flight at the Toulouse-Blagnac airport. The second flight lasted for over five hours where the aircraft flew at its design maximum speed of 0.89 Mach (676 mph) and reached an altitude of 42,000 ft.
  • On 20-Jun-2013, America’s United Airlines converted all the 25 A350-900 airplanes it had previously ordered to the larger -1000 model and ordered an additional 10 A350-1000s. With this incremental order, United Airlines had a total of A350 aircraft ordered from Airbus to replace the Boeing 777s in United’s fleet.
  • On 21-Jun-2013, the last day of the Paris Air Show 2013, the first A350-900 XWB (MSN001, F-WXWB) made a flyby at the Paris Air Show 2013. MSN001 made a conservative sweeping low-fly pass at 600 feet above runway 21 at the Le Bourget Airport, without the steep ascents and sharply banked turns common in flight demonstrations at airshows. This was the A350’s third flight and the aircraft had taken off from Toulouse two hours earlier.
  • On 25-Jun-2013, Scandinavian Airlines, the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for eight A350-900 aircrafts.
  • By 15-Jul-2013, the first A350-900 XWB, MSN1 / F-WXWB, had completed 92 flight test hours of testing. According to a press release from Airbus, this first phase of flight tests had involved tests of the engines, electrical systems, the ram air turbine (RAT), landing-gear, brakes, fuel systems, cabin pressure, autopilot and autoland systems. The aircraft was to go through a scheduled maintenance and upgrades to the flight test installation in preparation for the second phase of the flight test campaign. MSN1 was to be joined by a fleet of four more A350 XWB aircrafts during the 2,500 hour-long testing and certification campaign for the A350 XWB aircraft.
  • On 19-Sep-2013, Germany’s Lufthansa (Airbus’s biggest airline customer and operator) committed to buying up to 55 A350-900 aircraft (25 firm and 30 options). The commitment also gave Lufthansa the flexibility to convert some of the order to the larger A350-1000 aircraft.
  • On 25-Sep-2013, the International Airline Group (IAG) signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus to buy 18 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft plus 18 options. The International Airline Group (IAG) is the parent company of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia. The 36 A350-1000 aircraft were designated for British Airways.
  • On 03-Oct-2013, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for the order of eight A350-900 plus eight options for A350-900, in addition to four A330-300 Enhanced aircraft. SAS’s Airbus A350 were to be delivered from the year 2018.
  • On 07-Oct-2013, Airbus received a landmark order from Japan Airlines (JAL) 18 A350-900s, 13 A350-1000s, plus options for a further 25 A350-XWB aircraft. After decades of near-dominance by Boeing of the aircraft market in Japan, this was the first order Airbus ever received from Japan Airlines.

First Flight of the second A350 XWB flight test aircraft MSN3 on 14-Oct-2013

  • On 14-Oct-2013, the second A350 XWB test aircraft successfully completed its first flight. MSN3’s first flight lasted approximately five hours. MSN1 and MSN3 were to be joined by three more A350 XWB test aircraft and complete 2,500 hours leading to type certification.
  • On 17-Nov-2013, at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways announced a firm order for 50 A350 XWBs, which comprised of 40 A350-900s and 10 A350-1000s.
  • On 17-Nov-2013, at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, Boeing launched the response to the threat that the A350 posed to its 777 and 787 aircrafts by launching the 777X with record-breaking orders. Boeing claimed that the 777X would feature technology introduced on the 787 Dreamliner and evolving newer technologies such as an all-new composite wing and many aerodynamic advances. The 777X would feature the all-new GE9X engines developed by General Electric. Boeing claimed that the 777X would be 12 percent more fuel efficient than the A350. With 259 orders and commitments, the launch of the 777X represents the most successful launch of any airline program thus far. Emirates ordered 150, Qatar Airways 50, and Etihad Airways 25 new 777X aircrafts to add to a previously-announced launch order for 34 777X from Germany’s Lufthansa (34).
  • On 18-Nov-2013, also at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, the Tripoli-based startup airline Libyan Wings ordered three A350-900 jets to build a wider network after commencing short-haul services in 2014.
  • On 20-Dec-2013, Air Caraibes, the regional airline of the French Caribbean signed a firm contract with Airbus for three A350-1000s. Concurrently, Air Caraibes announced that it would lease three new A350-900s from ILFC.
  • On 20-Feb-2014, Kuwait Airways ordered ten A350-900 aircraft as part of its fleet renewal strategy. On 09-Dec-2013, Kuwait Airways and Airbus had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard.
  • A350 XWB MSN2 and MSN4 took to the skies for their first flights on 26-Feb-2014

    Executing a Successful A350-XWB Flight Test Program