The A350 XWB MSN1 has performed well during the first 92 flight test hours already achieved since its maiden flight on June 14th 2013. The A350 XWB flight test campaign will total around 2,500 flight hours with a fleet of five development aircraft.
During the first four weeks of the flight test campaign, ten Airbus experimental test pilots have flown MSN1 and have collectively put the aircraft through its paces to get to know its handling qualities and behaviour. This early phase of test flights has resulted in the clearance of the entire flight envelope and initial testing of all key systems. These include: engines, electrics, Ram Air Turbine (RAT), landing gear and braking, fuel and cabin pressurization as well as a preliminary assessment of the autopilot and auto-land functions. The A350 MSN1 will now undergo routine maintenance and upgrades of its flight test installation to ready it for the second phase of the flight test campaign which will start in August, while the design office will analyse the results of these initial flight tests.
Entry into commercial service of the first customer aircraft is scheduled for the second half of 2014. To date, Airbus has recorded 678 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 34 customers worldwide.
Notes to editors:
The first A350 XWB development aircraft (MSN1) is fitted with heavy test instrumentation and will be used for handling qualities evaluation, the natural icing campaign, systems and powerplant testing.
The second aircraft (MSN3) will also be equipped with heavy flight test instrumentation and will be used for performance measurement, high altitude, hot and cold weather testing as well as systems and powerplant tests.
The third and fifth aircraft (MSN2 and MSN5) will be equipped with a cabin and carry out the cabin and cabin systems tests, including the early long flights and route-proving.
The fourth aircraft to fly (MSN4) will have a light flight test installation and will be focused on external noise tests, lightning tests and pilot training for first customer and maintenance teams.