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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Airbus A350 XWB Begins High Altitude Testing

Bolivia's high-altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz are hosting a series of tests for the second A350 XWB flight-test aircraft, the MSN3, Airbus said Thursday, Jan. 9. 
The A350 XWB development aircraft, MSN3, is in Bolivia where it will perform a series of tests at the high altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz. Photo, courtesy of Airbus.
The flight-testing will evaluate the performance of the A350's next generation Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines as well as the overall aircraft under extreme conditions.  La Paz is among the world's highest airports at an elevation of 13,300 feet; Cochabamba is about 8,3000 feet above sea level. 
Airbus said the flight test crews will perform a number of takeoffs with all engines operating and with simulated engine failures to collect data on engine operating characteristics and to validate the aircraft's takeoff performance. 

Testing will also evaluate the performance of the autopilot during automatic landings and go-arounds. Since the first flight of the MSN1 in June, the A350 XWB has achieved over 800 flight-testing hours. 

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