|First A350-1000 test flight crew. Photo: Airbus|
[Avionics Magazine 11-28-2016] The first of three A350-1000 development aircraft to fly landed at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport France on Nov. 24, successfully completing its first flight, which lasted more than 4 hours.
Powered by Rolls-Royce’s new Trent XWB-97 engines, the aircraft traversed south-western France, during which the crew explored the aircraft’s handling and flight envelope. A chase plane accompanied the aircraft to observe and film the various maneuvers. Experts on the ground also monitored its progress in real-time via a direct telemetry link.
Benefitting from the experience of the original A350-900 test campaign accomplished in 2014, the A350-1000’s development program will be shorter: less than one year for the three aircraft. The first aircraft’s duties for performance testing will include exploration of the flight envelope, handling qualities, loads and braking. The second aircraft to fly will also be tasked with performance evaluation, which will encompass braking, powerplant, systems and autopilot. Airbus will equip the third and final aircraft to fly with a cabin and will evaluate the cabin and air systems. The overall campaign will culminate in the type’s certification followed by its entry into airline service in the second half of 2017 with first operator Qatar Airways, which has 37 A350-1000 aircraft on order.